Bangladesh Development Forum in Dhaka next week | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 08, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:57 AM, January 08, 2018

Bangladesh Development Forum in Dhaka next week

The Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) is set to take place in Dhaka next week to discuss issues related to financing for sustainable development goals to help Bangladesh graduate from the least developed countries' group.

About 700 delegates representing Bangladesh government and various development partners will attend the two-day meeting at Sonargaon Hotel on January 17. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the meet.

The BDF comprises of Bangladesh and its development partners and is seen as a platform to discuss the country's development process.

Annette Dixon, vice president of the World Bank; Wencai Zhang, vice president of the Asian Development Bank; Minoru Masujima, deputy director general of Japan's foreign affairs ministry, and Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, director general of the OPEC Fund for International Development, will also attend the gathering.

Dhaka has invited Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, but his presence has not been confirmed by New Delhi yet.

The forum will start its proceedings with a keynote session on implementation of the Seventh Five-Year Plan and the SDGs and the challenges Bangladesh confronts in attaining them.

Separate sessions will take place on agriculture and extreme climate conditions, creating enabling environment for foreign direct investment, addressing inequality and fostering quality education and ICT.  Sessions on addressing violence against women and ensuring women empowerment and improving urban service delivery will be held on the

last day.

According to a government concept paper prepared for the upcoming meeting, Bangladesh would require $2,000 billion to $3,000 billion by 2030 to meet the SDGs. The gathering will discuss how the funds will be mobilised and the challenges associated with it.

The paper said global partnership will be required for SDG financing, preparing sector action plan, future technical support for SDG monitoring and reporting and stock-taking of best practices and innovation in implementation.

A finance ministry official said the role of the South-South and Triangular cooperation can also be looked at as a means of SDG financing.

The meeting will emphasis the country's cooperation with development partners.

In recent times, countries such as Japan, China and India have committed huge amount of financing for Bangladesh, apart from multilateral lenders like the WB and the ADB.

The forum will discuss ways how to turn the challenges of moving out of the LDC into opportunities. 

The Committee for Development Policy (CDP), a subsidiary advisory body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, has confirmed that Bangladesh would, for the first time, meet the criteria for graduation during the CDP's triennial review of the LDCs in March 2018.

Therefore, the country could be recommended for graduation at the review in 2021, it said recently.

According to the concept paper, the graduation would create a new image of Bangladesh in the global community and boost confidence into the country.

However, the challenges and costs of the graduation are also formidable, the paper said.

In a separate session, the forum would focus on the probable impact the transition may have on the economy and the possible mitigating steps which could ease the graduation process.

The government is going to formulate a strategic plan to assess the losses and opportunities once Bangladesh graduates from the LDC group, Kazi Shofiqul Azam, secretary to the Economic Relations Division, said in December.

The last BDF meeting took place in Dhaka in November 2015. 

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