The Financial Express

Bangladesh seeks five years to prepare for graduation to developing nation

| Updated: January 17, 2021 12:28:25

Bangladesh seeks five years to prepare for graduation to developing nation

Bangladesh has sought the facilities reserved for the least developed countries for five years for preparations after graduating to the developing nation bracket.

It floated the proposal at a virtual expert group meeting with the United Nations Committee for Development Policy in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Zuena Aziz, the principal coordinator of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office, headed the Bangladesh delegation in the meeting, reports bdnews24.com.

The meeting was part of preparations for the tri-annual review session of the CDP in February, when the UN committee is set to recommend Bangladesh for graduation from LDC for the second time.

A finance ministry statement said Bangladesh sought the five years from 2021 to 2026 for preparations to make the graduation process sustainable and smooth.

The government urged the international community to continue the facilities further after the graduation, it said.

Bangladesh fulfilled all the criteria necessary for the graduation to a developing country in 2018. In line with the UN rules, a country will get recommended for graduation if it can fulfill the criteria in two tri-annual reviews in a row.

According to CDP provision, a country can enjoy three to five years for preparations after the recommendation for graduation.

If Bangladesh’s proposal for the preparations is approved, it will formally enter the developing nation bracket in 2026.

After the formal graduation, Bangladesh will lose the benefits for LDCs, such as soft loans and export facilities.

Under the current rules, Bangladesh will enjoy the duty-free access to the European Union for three more years after 2026.

Fatima Yasmin, the economic relations secretary, made a presentation on Bangladesh’s journey towards the developing nation status during the meeting.

She noted that the achievement has come at a time when Bangladesh is celebrating the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and golden jubilee of independence.

Fatima also called for the international community’s support to tackle climate change and achieve the SDGs.

The Bangladesh delegation also included Shamsul Alam, a member of the Planning Commission, Finance Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in UN Rabab Fatima, and Md Mustafizur Rahman, representative of Bangladesh at its Permanent Mission to the UN Offices and other international organisations in Geneva.

Chairperson José Antonio Ocampo Gaviria and others in the CDP delegation praised Bangladesh for its recent achievements in development, according to the ministry statement.

According to the UN, a country is eligible to graduate from the LDC category if it has a gross national income (GNI) per capita of $1,230 or above for three years, a Human Assets Index (HAI) of 66 or above and an Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI) of 32 or below.

Bangladesh has continued to fulfill the three conditions on a very large margin.

Bangladesh's current GNI per capita is $ 1,274. The HAI is 73.2, while the EVI is 25.2.

The GNI per capita measures the dollar value of a country’s total income in a year divided by its population. The HAI is a composite index that accounts for education and health. The EVI accounts for population size, remoteness, merchandise export concentration, share of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in gross domestic product, homelessness owing to natural disasters, instability of agricultural production, and instability of exports of goods and services, the share of population living in low elevated coastal zone.

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