The prime minister stated that all credit goes to the government’s relentless effort, planning and hard work over the last 12 years
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said Bangladesh’s graduation from the group of the least developed countries (LDCs) to a developing country stemmed from her government’s relentless efforts, planning and hard work for the last 12 years.
“The people of the country did all these things. Remaining in the government, we just gave policy support to create a scope. It’s a historic and proud moment for the nation,” she said in her written speech at a virtual press conference marking the UN’s final recommendation for Bangladesh’s graduation from the LDC group.
She attended the press conference from her official residence Ganabhaban. It was organized at the Shapla Hall of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Sheikh Hasina expressed strong hope that Bangladesh would get its place as a dignified country at the world stage following its graduation as a developing nation.
She extended her heartiest congratulations to the Bangladeshi citizens both at home and abroad for achieving this feat.
“The father of the nation, Bangabandhu, had turned Bangladesh into a least developed one pulling the war ravaged country in just three and a half years’ time. Bangladesh Awami League - a party founded in the hand of the great leader - established the country as a developing nation in this Golden Jubilee year of independence,” she said.
The prime minister gave credit to the people of this country, adding that their coordinated efforts have made the milestone achievement possible, and congratulated all the citizens at home and abroad.
As the daughter of Bangabandhu, Hasina said she feels proud of this achievement as she herself remained engaged in the process of the strides in development.
“The UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) reviews the issue of a country’s graduation from LDC based on income per capita, human assets, and economic and environmental vulnerability,” she said.
In continuation of Bangladesh’s fulfillment of these criteria in the first triennial review meeting of the CDP in 2018, she said Bangladesh also met all the three criteria this year for graduation from the LDC status to a developing country.
According to the UN, a country is eligible to graduate from the LDC category if it has a gross national income (GNI) per capita of $1,230 or above for three years, a Human Assets Index (HAI) of 66 or above and an Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI) of 32 or below.
Bangladesh has continued to fulfil the three conditions with its GNI per capita at $1,827 in 2020. The HAI is 75.3, while the EVI is 25.2.
Highlighting various economic indices, she said Bangladesh’s GDP has now risen to $330.2 billion, and export income to $40.54 billion, while foreign reserves have already reached $44.03 billion.
In addition to this, Bangladesh has already been self-reliant in food, fish, egg, meat, and vegetable production, and it is also the third in the world in terms of paddy production, she added.
In this regard, Sheikh Hasina mentioned that today’s Bangladesh is not as it was an “era ago”.
The prime minister said 99% people have been brought under electricity coverage, digital services have been expanded up to marginalized people in villages, and a revolutionary change has taken place in the ICT sector through the Bangabandhu satellite.
“Considering all these achievements, Bangladesh is now a changed country in the world,” she said.
Talking about the coronavirus pandemic, Sheikh Hasina said the year 2020 was a critical year not only for Bangladesh but also for the entire world due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
She mentioned that the government has been able to keep the national economy moving by taking various steps, such as by providing financial assistance and stimulus packages to affected groups.
The prime minister said the vaccination drive has already begun across the country with a total of 2,850,940 people getting vaccinated as of Thursday last.
Putting emphasis on keeping up with the successes, she underscored the need for making the achievement on graduation of the country from the LDC to a developing one more sustainable and consolidated.
Hasina narrated that various strategies have been incorporated in the long-term perspective plan alongside taking the 8th Five Year Plan.
She also pointed out the ongoing mega projects, such as the Padma Bridge, metro rail project, construction of Karnophuli Tunnel and the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, and said some of those are expected to be launched this year or early next year.
In addition, she added that the country’s economy will receive further momentum once the construction work on the 100 Special Economic Zones and over two dozens of high tech Parks and IT villages are completed.
The prime minister expressed her firm optimism that Bangladesh would soon be established as a developed, prosperous and dignified country at the world stage if the pace of the development continues.
The youngest daughter of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Rehana, was also present at the press conference from Ganabhaban.
Earlier, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal handed over the UN recommendation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban.