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Two-day BDF in Dhaka: Dev schemes worth $2,000b on cards

  • Published at 10:40 pm December 22nd, 2019
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Above 500 foreign delegates are expected to attend the two-day meeting which will focus on strategies and funding to implement the 8th five-year plan beginning next year

The government is working on projects involving close to $2,000 billion to be placed at the upcoming Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) meeting to begin on January 29 in the capital.

Above 500 foreign delegates are expected to attend the two-day meeting which will focus on strategies and funding to implement the 8th five-year plan beginning next year, a top finance official at the Economic Relations Division(ERD) has said.

“Along with the foreign diplomats stationed in the country, we are expecting a good number of senior dignitaries from the headquarters of the WB, JICA, and the UNDP at the BDF meeting,” Syed Ashrafuzzaman, deputy secretary, ERD, told Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.

He said the ERD in cooperation with other relevant government agencies was working on finalizing the development projects and the estimated required funding to implement the projects to be included in the next five-year plan.

“Hope the development partners will come forward with their generous pledges to help implement the next five-year plan which is directly linked with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations," he said.

The required financing for the next five-year plan is close to $2,000 billion, which would also help implement goals included in the SDGs of the United Nations, another senior ERD official has said.

Sources at the ERD said eight working sessions would be held during the two-day BDF conference. The sessions are creating an enabling environment for private sector engagement; climate change and financing to address the challenges; innovative financing for meeting the investment gap; trade facilitation and export diversification; fourth industrial revolution: youth and demographic dividend; primary healthcare for all; rural transformation and addressing inequality; smart urbanisation and better citizen services; and quality education for all.

The last BDF meeting took place in the country was on January 17-18, last year.

Shamsul Alam, member (senior secretary), General Economics Division, Ministry of Planning at a recent seminar said the next  five-year plan would include the government’s massive programs on development and investment for the next five years.  

In terms of investments in technical education and training, the government must take into account automation, robotics and demographic dividend, he added.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Shamsul Alam said the 8th five-year plan would focus on job creation and GDP growth; ensuring equal opportunities for all and tackling the adverse effects of climate change.

“We would try to sensitize our development partners at the BDF to help implement the plan with adequate fund which is very much aligned with the goals of SDGs.”