Bangladesh needs 26 years to shake off poorest country status

16:02, January 19, 2010      

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Bangladeshi Finance Minister AMA Muhith said it would take Bangladesh another 26 years to break away from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status.

"Our present status indicates that it would take us up to 2036 for the upward change in our position," Muhith was quoted as saying by leading English newspaper The Daily Star Tuesday.

Talking to a group of journalists at his hotel suite during the LDCs conference in Dhaka Monday, he said the country's target is to exit LDC status by 2021. This could be achieved if the government's development plan is implemented, the minister said.

"To reach the target we have to take our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth to 8 percent. If we could get 8 percent growth, we would start a move towards achieving our target by 2021," Muhith said.

On a question why Bangladesh is still an LDC, the finance minister said investment rate in Bangladesh is very low and the public investment scenario is worse--only 16 percent of the GDP.

"We do not get much foreign assistance either. Bangladesh receives only 2 percent of GDP from foreign assistance. It should have been higher," Muhith said.

"In the field of education, we failed to make much progress. And our status in health sector--especially nutrition and food security--is not good," the finance minister observed.

He said that both the LDCs and the development partners are responsible for poor development situation in these countries. About development partners, the finance minister said they did not fulfill many of the commitments they made for development of the LDCs.

Muhith added the LDCs are being affected much due to climate change. New measures should be taken to protect LDCs and recommendations in this regard would be placed in the LDC summit in Istanbul, Turkey next year, he said.

Bangladesh got its LDC membership in 1973 and for the last three decades it has been enjoying all the benefits of the group. The number of LDCs is now 49.

Source: Xinhua
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