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Bangladesh’s graduation from LDC: PM says all credit goes to people

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said Bangladesh’s graduation from the group of the least developed countries (LDCs) to a developing country stemmed from her government’s relentless efforts, planning and hard work for the last 12 years.

“The people of the country did all these things. Remaining there in the government, we just gave policy support to create the scope. It’s a historic and pride moment for the nation,” she said in her written speech at a virtual press conference marking the UN’s final recommendation for Bangladesh’s graduation from the LDC group.

She joined the press conference from her official residence Ganobhaban. It was organised at the Shapla Hall of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

 

Sheikh Hasina expressed her strong hope that Bangladesh would get its place as a dignified country at the world stage following its graduation as a developing nation.

She extended heartiest congratulations to the Bangladeshi citizens both at home and abroad for achieving this feat.

“Father of the Nation Bangabandhu had turned Bangladesh into a least developed one pulling the war ravaged country in just three and a half years’ time. And Bangladesh Awami League – a party founded in the hand of the great leader -established the country as a developing nation in this Golden Jubilee year of independence,” she said.

The Prime Minister gave the credits for this to the people of this country saying the coordinated efforts of all have made the milestone achievement possible and congratulated all the citizens at home and abroad.

Being the daughter of the Father of the Nation, Hasina said she feels proud of this achievement as she herself remained engaged in the process of development strides.

“UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) reviews the issue of a country’s graduation from LDC based on income per capita, human assets, and economic and environmental vulnerability,” she said.

 

In continuation of Bangladesh’s fulfillment of these criteria in the first triennial review meeting of the CDP in 2018, she said Bangladesh also met all the three criteria this year for graduation from LDC status to a developing country.

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 with its GNI per capita was $ 1,827 in 2020. The HAI is 75.3, while the EVI is 25.2.

Highlighting various economic indices, she said Bangladesh’s GDP now rose to 330.2 Billion US dollars, and export income to 40.54 billion dollars, while foreign reserves already reached 44.03 billion US dollars.

Besides, Bangladesh has already been self-reliant in food, fish, egg, meat, and vegetable production, while it is the third in the world in terms of paddy production, she added.

In this regard, Sheikh Hasina mentioned that today’s Bangladesh is not as it was an ‘era ago’.

The Prime Minister said, 99% people have been brought under electricity coverage, digital services have been expanded up to marginalised people in villages, and a revolutionary change has taken place in the ICT sector through Bangabandhu satellite.

“Considering all these achievements, Bangladesh is now a changed country in the world,” she said.

Talking about the corona pandemic, Sheikh Hasina said, the year 2020 was a critical year not only for Bangladesh but also for the entire world due to Covid-19 outbreak.

She, however, mentioned that the government has been able to keep the national economy moving by taking various steps like giving financial assistance and stimulus packages to affected groups.

The Prime Minister said the vaccination drive has already begun across the country with a total of 28, 50, 940 people getting vaccinated as of Thursday last.

Laying emphasis on keeping up the successes, she underscored the need for making the achievement on graduation of the country from the LDC to a developing one more sustainable and consolidated.

Hasina narrated that various strategies have been incorporated in the long-term perspective plan alongside taking the 8th Five Year Plan.

She also pointed out the ongoing mega projects like Padma Bridge, metro rail project, construction of Karnophuli Tunnel and Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, and said some of those are expected to be launched this year or early next year.

Besides, she added, the country’s economy will get further momentum once the construction works on 100 Special Economic Zones and over two dozens of High tech Parks and IT Villages are completed.

The Prime Minister expressed her firm optimism that Bangladesh would soon be established as a developed, prosperous and dignified country at the world stage if the pace of the development continues.

Youngest daughter of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and PM’s younger sister Sheikh Rehana was also present at the press conference from the Ganobhaban side.

Earlier, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal handed over the UN recommendation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganobhaban.