Bangladesh is ready to cope with the upcoming dynamics that would result from getting off the Least Developed Country status, which is a matter of great honour and pride for the country.
The private sector needs to enhance in-house research and development capacity to deal with the upcoming 4th Industrial Revolution as well as LDC graduation.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said this as a chief guest at a virtual workshop on "Effective partnership with the private sector for sustainable graduation" held on Saturday.
Support to Sustainable Graduation Project of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) under the Ministry of Finance hosted the workshop.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and senior Secretary to the Finance Division Abdur Rouf Talukder were present at the event as special guests.
In his address, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said: "Graduation from LDC status would be a manifestation of the dream of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman."
This is also the recognition of the unprecedented development stride the country has made under the valiant leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he added.
The finance minister noted that Bangladesh has shown incredible resilience during all the previous global crises and will be able to do so when it comes to facing post-graduation challenges.
Speaking at the workshop, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the country should start preparing for gradual withdrawal of international support measures.
He observed that it is necessary to move towards signing free trade agreements or preferential trade agreements in the long term to cope with the post-graduation situation.
In her keynote presentation, ERD Secretary Fatima Yasmin highlighted the major opportunities and dimensions that would be created for Bangladesh in the aftermath of graduation from LDC status.
She focused on how the government is preparing for graduation in collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders.
Speaking on the occasion, senior Secretary of the Finance Division Abdur Rouf Talukder emphasised the need for skill development programmes to increase the productivity of the country's workforce.
He called for necessary steps to improve the country's education system, provide special incentives for exploring new export markets, give special support to start-up entities and improve the country's position in the Ease of Doing Business ranking.
In his remarks, Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin said the government is in talks with different countries for signing free trade agreements or preferential trade agreements to prepare for the post-graduation situation.
President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) Sheikh Fazle Fahim was the Guest of Honour at the event while Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs), Prime Minister's Office, Zuena Aziz, also chair, National Task Force on LDC Graduation, presided over the workshop.
Sheikh Fazle Fahim an effective involvement of the private sector is instrumental in the formulation of transition strategy in the coming times.
He emphasised the need for capacity development of the private sector and sought the government support to this end.
Representatives from private sector including Bangladesh Garment manufacturers and Exporters Association president Rubana Huq, Leather Goods and Footwear Manufacturer and Exporters Association Bangladesh president Md Saiful Islam, senior vice-president of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries Abdul Muktadir, president of Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rupali Haque Chowdhury, president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nihad Kabir, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rizwan Rahman, vice-president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association Mohammad Hatem and Chair of Research and Policy Integration for Development Mohammad Abdur Razzaque, among others, spoke at the workshop.
Bangladesh met all the criteria for LDC graduation for the first time during the last triennial review of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations 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 for graduation by the CDP.
The data for the 2021 triennial review indicate that Bangladesh meets the graduation thresholds for all the criteria again and it is very likely that the country would be recommended for graduation in the next triennial review to be held on 22-26 February 2021, said a press release ERD issued on Saturday. The workshop also discussed the next course of action including the preparation of Smooth Transition Strategy after being recommended by the CDP for graduation.