The seventh meeting of the National Taskforce on Bangladesh’s Graduation from the Least Developed Country Status was held on 25 October 2020 through online.
Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) of the Prime Minister’s Office Ms. Zuena Aziz chaired the meeting. Member (Senior Secretary) of the General Economics Division (GED) Dr. Shamsul Alam, Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Dr. Md. Jafar Uddin, Secretary of the Economic Relations Division Ms. Fatima Yasmin, Secretary of the Statistics and Informatics Division Mr. Mohammad Yamin Chowdhury were also present in the meeting. High officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority and other relevant ministries attended the meeting.
The meeting observed that the private sector has a crucial role in ensuring smooth graduation of Bangladesh from the Least Developed Country Status. In this context, the meeting unequivocally decided to co-opt the President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) Mr. Sheikh Fazle Fahim as a member of the National Task Force.
The meeting also reviewed the progress of various initiatives taken by the Government of Bangladesh in preparing for smooth and sustainable graduation. It also reviewed the latest score of Bangladesh in various LDC graduation criteria.
This was the third time that the National Task Force sat together in the year 2020. The earlier meeting of the task force took place on 14 September 2020.
In light of the upcoming triennial review of the Committee for Development Policy, it was earlier decided that the NTF meetings would take place on a monthly basis.
The NTF is also likely to co-opt new members as the country move towards formulating a transition strategy for coping with the post-graduation scenario.
Bangladesh met all the criteria for graduation during the triennial review of the Committee for Development Policy of the United Nations back in 2018.
With the current economic and development trajectory, it is highly probable that Bangladesh will be recommended by the UNECOSOC for graduation in the next triennial review in 2021.
Subsequent to a three-year transition period during 2021-24, Bangladesh will officially graduate from the Least Developed Country category in 2024.
While graduating from the Least Developed Country status is a major achievement for any nation, this remarkable feat also comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges.
In this context, the government formed a National Task Force under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s Office for steering and guiding the process of sustainable graduation in the country.
Secretaries and high officials of different relevant ministries and agencies like the Prime Minister’s Office, General Economics Division (GED), Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Statistics and Informatics Division, Commerce Ministry, Finance Division, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) are already members of this Task Force.