BD graduation from LDC opens up new horizons in Indo-Bangla economic engagement

New Delhi, June 20: -Bangladesh’s graduation from LDC will open up new frontiers and horizons in the economic engagement between Bangladesh and India bringing in further benefits to the citizens of the two friendly neighbours, a high-level policy dialogue was told on Wednesday.

The dialogue, organized by Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi in cooperation with Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), was chaired by High Commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali at FICCI conference hall.

The panel discussion was participated by Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Principal Co-ordinator (SDG Affairs) at Prime Minister’s Office, Dr. Ram Upendra Das, Head and Professor, Centre  for Regional Trade, Department of Commerce and Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Dr. Pritom Banerjee, Senior Director at South Asia Corporate Public Policy, DHL Group and Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Senior Vice President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Deputy High Commissioner ATM   Rokebul Haque offered votes of thanks.

The speakers agreed that Bangladesh’s graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) category is a milestone in the country’s goal of achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The status is expected to hugely impact the bilateral economic relations between India and Bangladesh, especially in investment and doing business together.

“Qualification for graduation is also a testimony to the sustainable development trajectory of Bangladesh,” Syed Muazzem Ali told the seminar. He said Bangladesh has done wonders under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the goal of transforming the country into Sonar Bangla, the dream of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The envoy urged the Indian business people to invest in Bangladesh in “buy-back” projects. “Indian investors should take advantage of Bangladesh’s competent labor costs and closer proximity to the North-East markets”, he said.

In his speech Abul Kalam Azad praised the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh’s enviable progress in reduction of poverty level. He said the Prime Minister believes in inclusive economy and that none should be left behind. Bangladesh’s progress in the implementation of UN-set Sustainable Development Goals has been impressive so far.

  1. Ram Upendra Das called for an integrated approach in trade and investment between the two countries. He said while peace leads to prosperity, it is prosperity that can help establish peace in the region.

Dr. Kholiquzzaman focused on Bangladesh’s tremendous achievement in reduction of poverty. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declared a war on poverty and the campaign has resulted in bringing down the poverty rate from 59 percent in 1991 to less than 24 percent today. The rate of absolute poverty has come to merely 12 percent. At this rate, he said, Bangladesh is going to eliminate poverty in next 10 years.

Dr. Pritom Banerjee spoke on greater connectivity, while Sheikh Fazle Fahim underlined the need for more Indian investment in Bangladesh.

The speakers took questions from the audience that comprised diplomats, economists, academics and thought leaders and media people.

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