Bangladesh to receive final recommendation on graduation from LDC

PM to address a virtual press conference on Saturday

Friday, 26 February 2021

Bangladesh is set to receive the final recommendation on its graduation from the least developed country status, as the nation marks the golden jubilee of its independence.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will speak on the achievement in a virtual media briefing at 4:00 pm on Saturday, said her Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, reports bdnews24.com.

Bangladesh has been on the United Nation's Least Developed Countries list since 1975.

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

The tri-annual review meeting of the UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) began on February 22. It is hoped that the final decision will be made on Friday night after the second round of review.

The CDP focuses on three indices while reviewing the prospects of a country's rise to a developing nation. Bangladesh has met the criteria in all three indices.

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 fulfil the three conditions with flying colours.

The South Asian nation's GNI per capita was $ 1,827 in 2020. The HAI is 75.3, while the EVI is 25.2.

According to the CDP provisions, a country can get between three and five years to make preparations after the recommendation for graduation is made.

To make the step up to the developing nation bracket sustainable under the current circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, Bangladesh has sought the facilities reserved for the least developed countries for five years of preparations.

Once it receives the final recommendation, Bangladesh will formally graduate to the developing nation bracket in 2026.

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

It can, however, enjoy those benefits in the five years of preparatory time.

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

Bangladesh is receiving the final recommendation to graduate to the developing country bracket at the same time it celebrates the 50 years of its independence and birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

In 1971, the United Nations had listed a few countries as least developed countries or LDC based on few indexes.

The number of LDC was 25 in 1971, which currently stands at 46. Among the LDCs, Botswana, Cape Verde, Maldives, Samoa, Equatorial Guinea and Vanuatu have graduated to developing nations.