The government has asked for an additional two years as a transition period to graduate from a least developed country (LDC) to a developing one.
Usually, the transition from LDC is announced after three years of assessment.
The proposal was made on Tuesday at a meeting of the government's expert group and the UN's Committee for Development Policy (CDP) ahead of the CDP meeting in February.
If the proposal is approved, the CDP will send a recommendation to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc) in 2026 for the graduation of Bangladesh after assessing the situation in February.
Officials present at the meeting said the CDP had been asked for an additional two years considering the damage to the economy caused by the pandemic. They also said the CDP is satisfied with Bangladesh's position and hoped that an additional two years would be available as preparation time.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh will meet all the criteria for the transition from an LDC for the second time at the CDP's triennial review meeting to be held in February.
At the same time, to make the transition process sustainable and smooth, the Bangladesh delegation called upon the CDP to provide a five-year preparatory period from 2021 to 2026.
It added that Bangladesh was able to meet the criteria for the transition from an LDC for the first time at the last triennial review meeting of CDP held in March 2018. According to UN rules, if a country can meet the criteria for passing in two consecutive triennial reviews, it is recommended to cross from LDC.
According to CDP regulations, a country can enjoy a preparation period of three to five years after receiving a pass recommendation.
During this period of preparation, Bangladesh will be able to enjoy all the facilities available as an LDC. Moreover, under the current rules, Bangladesh will be able to enjoy duty-free and quota-free benefits in the EU market for another three years after 2026.
The government delegation was led by Juena Aziz, chief coordinator (SDG) of the Prime Minister's Office. Fatima Yasmin, secretary to the Economic Relations Division (ERD), presented Bangladesh's position.
In her presentation, the ERD secretary highlighted Bangladesh's achievements in various macroeconomic and socioeconomic indicators. At the same time, she highlighted the steps taken by the government to take advantage of the opportunities and possibilities after the transition from an LDC.
The secretary called on the international community to increase the amount of development funding for post-transition international cooperation, to provide the necessary support to adapt to climate change and to achieve sustainable development goals.
High-level representatives of the CDP including CDP President Jose Antonio Acampo praised Bangladesh's recent development momentum at the meeting, reads the press release.
It is notable that the CDP reviews migration from LDCs based on three indicators – Gross National Income Per Capita, Human Assets Index (nutrition, health, mortality, school enrollment and education rates) and Economic Vulnerability Index.
Member of the Planning Commission Shamsul Alam, Finance Secretary Abdur Rauf Talukder, Foreign Secretary Sud Bin Momen, Commerce Secretary Md Zafar Uddin and Secretary to the Prime Minister's Office Md Tofazzal Hossain Mia were present as part of the Bangladesh delegation.