The Financial Express
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LDC Graduation

Bangladesh leading global push to get transitional benefits

| Updated: July 14, 2018 10:29:33

BD leading global push to get transitional benefits

Bangladesh is leading a global push for getting the LDC-related benefits for the nations that are set to graduate to a developing country status in the coming years.

The country is set to co-host an international event on "Supporting Smooth Transition of the LDCs towards a Sustainable Graduation" during the 'High Level Political Forum' that is now taking place in New York.

The event, which is expected to bring representatives from all 47 least developed countries (LDCs) from around the world, is expected to focus on challenges faced by the LDCs during and after their graduation phase.

Bangladesh government will jointly host the event with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).

A high level delegation led by finance minister AMA Muhith will leave Dhaka this weekend to attend the event.

The New York event comes just months after Bangladesh fulfilled the criteria for LDC graduation for the first time during the latest triennial review of the UN's Committee for Development Policy.

Apart from Bangladesh, Lao PDR and Myanmar also met the graduation criteria for the first time during that same review.

In addition, four countries, namely, Bhutan, Kiribati, Sa~o Tome´ and Principe and Solomon Islands, were recommended for graduation.

To date, five countries have formally graduated from the LDC status while 12 others are at different stages of graduation.

There are some concerns, however, that graduating from LDC status may give rise to potentially important economic costs for such countries.

Bangladesh, at the current pace, is expected to graduate from the LDC status by 2024.

Currently, the country enjoys a 12 per cent preference margin for its apparel industry under the European Union's Everything but Arms (EBA) Initiative, which gives it a substantial price advantage.

It has been noted that as Bangladesh is expected to graduate concurrently from both the UN and the World Bank (WB) classifications, options for concessional financing will also dry up.

"The New York event, however, will give the LDCs a platform to share their knowledge on how to tackle the graduation-related challenges," said Monowar Ahmed, additional secretary of the Economic Relations Division.

Ahmed is a member of the Bangladesh delegation in the meeting.

"This will give us a platform to put pressure on the international community to continue the LDC-related facilities for an extended period of time," he said.

"This is critical for smoothing the graduation process of not only Bangladesh but numerous countries that would graduate in the coming years."

Apart from the LDC graduation meeting, Bangladesh would co-host another event on "Enhancing the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development" on 17th.

The finance minister would also take part in a roundtable on "Innovations in Financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Asia Pacific" as part of the New York High Level Forum.

The roundtable dialogue would be organised by Asia Pacific Development Effectiveness Facility (APDEF) -- of which, Bangladesh is currently the chair.

A study conducted by the Planning Commission, said Bangladesh would require additional financing of US$ 928 billion to implement the UN-mandated SDGs by 2030.


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