The private sector can play an important role in mobilising resources to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), experts said at a programme on Thursday.
They also called for forging a strong public-private partnership to this end.
The experts made the observation at the launching ceremony of the 'Green Delta Sustainable Report' organised by the Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd. at a city hotel.
Speaking as the chief guest, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said Bangladesh needs an additional amount of US$ 928.48 billion to achieve SDGs.
"This amount is around 20 per cent of our accumulated GDP. There is simply no way that we can manage this colossal amount through traditional financing methods," he said.
Five sectors have been identified to bridge this financial gap, he said, adding that 42 per cent will come from the private sector and another 6.0 per cent needs to be mobilised through public- private partnership.
"So, we see that almost half of the total finance for the SDGs will have to come from the private sector," he added.
The minister also said, "We should always make it sure that businesses support the sustainable development. Otherwise, by destroying our planet, we all will be out of business forever."
Stronger partnership between the government and the private sector, civil society and non-government organisations is a must to attain the development goals by 2021, he added.
"This partnership is crucial to ensure that our past development gains are well sustained and can become even more dynamic and inclusive," he said.
Senior Secretary of the Finance Ministry Asadul Islam said the government has taken a number of steps to ensure access to finance for the poor and vulnerable groups.
He mentioned the ever growing role of the mobile banking and digital banking in this regard.
He also stressed the need for raising the insurance-GDP ratio in the country.
"There is ample opportunity to expand the insurance sector in the country," he pointed out.
Former foreign secretary Farooq Sobhan said financial innovation is crucial to attain the SDG goals and both the public and private sectors should play an important role in this regard.
UNDP Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo said private sector's participation is very important to achieve SDGs.
According to an estimate, 66 per cent of the SDG financing needs to come from the private sector, she mentioned.
British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson said access to finance is crucial to achieve the SDGs.
He underscored the role of the private sector of Bangladesh in doing public good.
Green Delta Insurance CEO Farzanah Chowdhury expressed her company's commitment to supporting the sustainable development drives and hoped that others in the private sector would do the same.
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