Bangladesh to be among top 20 countries by 2041: Kamal

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Dhaka, Mar 21: Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said the country’s graduation from the LDC to a developing one has made the entire nation proud, saying that Bangladesh will make its place among the top 20 countries by 2041.“Our target is to place Bangladesh among the top 20 countries by 2041,” he said while addressing a ‘Meet the Press’ at the NEC conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area on the graduation of Bangladesh from the LDC status to a developing country.

Kamal said within a period of eight years, Bangladesh has moved up to 43rd place in terms of economy from 58th slot in 2010.

“That means, we’ll have to overtake one country every year to reach the 20th position in the next 23 years….if we can act according to our plan and thus motivate the countrymen, then we’ll be able to attain the goal,” he said.

The Planning Minister said the UN has already said that Bangladesh has fulfilled the eligibility requirements to graduate from ‘Least Developed Country’ to ‘Developing Country’ status.

The UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) recently gave a letter announcing Bangladesh’s eligibility for graduation to the Bangladesh Permanent Ambassador to the UN Masud Bin Momen in New York, reports BSS.

This begins the graduation process for Bangladesh, which could receive official developing country status by 2024.

According to the UN, Bangladesh met the requirements in March, 2018. Bangladesh has been on the UN Least Developed Countries (LDC) list since 1975.

Graduation of a country depends upon meeting eligibility criteria scores in Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, the Human Assets Index (HAI) and the Economic Vulnerability (EVI) Index and other country-specific information.

Mustafa Kamal, commonly known as Lotus Kamal, said the scores required for graduation from the LDC category are a per capita GNI of $1,230 or above, an HAI of 66 or above and an EVI of 32 or below.

Bangladesh’s current GNI per capita is $1,274 while its HAI is 73.2 and its EVI 25.2.

“We’ve successfully fulfilled these requirements…our graduation from the LDC will further infuse dynamism in our activities,” he said.

Citing that countries like India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines are in the developing country status alongside Bangladesh, Kamal said Bangladesh is now moving ahead in light of the path of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the country will become ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Bangabandhu.

The minister stressed addressing the physical infrastructure constraints as well as attracting more private sector investment. “We’ll continue to ensure all necessary facilities for the private sector.”

He suggested for lowering the tax rate citing that the corporate tax rate in Bangladesh is much higher than Singapore.

Kamal said construction of the proposed Matarbari and Paira Deep seaports will help Bangladesh attain the cherished desire of becoming a developed country by 2041.

He hoped that Bangladesh would be the first country in the world in attaining the SDGs.

Turning to the growth prospect, the Planning Minister hoped that Bangladesh would attain a robust growth in the current fiscal year. “We’re expecting a robust growth in the current year…there will be better growth this year compared to the last years,” he said.

He said the revenue generation situation, export growth trend and inflation situation are now better.

Replying to a question, Kamal said Bangladesh would not face any difficulty in getting the foreign assistance as the country would have much larger capacity to negotiate the loan terms with the development partners.

He said the government is on the right track and would continue to remain on the right track.