Thursday, January 21, 2021 | ePaper

Bangladesh to seek LDC benefits for 5 years after graduation

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UNB, Dhaka :
Bangladesh has called on the international community for the continuation of international support measures for an extended period to make its upcoming graduation out of Least Developed Country (LDC) status smooth and sustainable.
Bangladesh is set to meet the LDC graduation criteria for the second consecutive time and will be recommended for graduation during the upcoming triennial review of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations in February 2021, according to a release from the Economic Relations Division (ERD) under the Ministry of Finance.
Bangladesh has made the call during a session of the ongoing Expert Group Meeting (EGM) of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) held on Tuesday as part of the Preparations for the upcoming triennial review meeting.
Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) of the Prime Minister's Office Juena Aziz led the Bangladesh delegation.
Secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) Fatima Yasmin delivered a presentation during the session-highlighting the unprecedented socioeconomic progress achieved by Bangladesh in recent times, as well as the latest position of the country regarding graduation.
It was projected during the meeting that since Bangladesh had met all the criteria for LDC graduation for consecutive second time, the country would be recommended for graduation  
during the upcoming triennial review in February 2021. At the same time, the Bangladesh delegation called for providing an extended preparatory period of five years (2021 to 2026).
It is notable that Bangladesh met all the criteria for LDC graduation for the first time during the last CDP triennial review, held in March 2018. As per the provisions of the United Nations, a country must be found eligible in two successive triennial reviews to be recommended by CDP for graduation.
As per the rules of CDP, a country can enjoy a 3-5 years preparatory period after being recommended for graduation. If Bangladesh gets the five-year preparatory period for graduation after being recommended by CDP during the triennial review next month, the country will formally graduate out of the LDC status in 2026.
During this preparatory period, Bangladesh would be entitled to enjoy all the international support measures reserved for LDCs.
In addition, as per the existing provisions, the country would also remain eligible to enjoy duty-free, quota-free access to the European Union market for three more years, lasting till 2029.
During her country presentation, ERD Secretary Fatima Yasmin mentioned that Bangladesh is going to be recommended for graduation at a time when the whole country is celebrating fifty years of its independence as well as the birth centennial of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The country presentation highlighted the unprecedented progress achieved by Bangladesh in recent years in various macroeconomic and socioeconomic indicators.
It also reflected on multifarious measures that have been and will be taken by the government in partnership with all the relevant stakeholders to best utilise the opportunities that would be created for the country in the aftermath of graduation.
The country presentation also called on the international community for the continuation of international support measures in the aftermath of graduation as well as for enhancing the flow of development financing to tackle the impacts of climate change and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Chair of Committee for Development Policy Jose Antonio Ocampo and other members of CDP praised the unprecedented socioeconomic progress made by Bangladesh in recent years, according to the PMO release.
Although the concept of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) originated in the late 1960s, the first group of LDCs was listed by the United Nations back in 1971. While there were 25 countries in the list of LDCs back in 1971, the number grew to 49 at one stage, and following some graduations, now stands at 46. Bangladesh was first listed as an LDC back in 1975.
So far, a total of six countries have graduated from the LDC status. These are- Botswana (1994), Cape Verde (2007), Maldives (2011), Samoa (2011), Equatorial Guinea (2017) and Vanuatu (2020). During this year's triennial review, CDP will assess the graduation progress of four more countries ( Nepal, Myanmar, Lao PDR and Timor-Leste).

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