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Muhith urges development partners not to shift attention from BD

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith today urged the development partners’ not to take away their attention from Bangladesh even after the country becomes a middle-income one.

“Bangladesh will become a mid-income country. But, I request you not to take your attention away from Bangladesh after that. The attention perhaps could be on new corners and with some attitudes. But, it’s very important that the partnership that we have with the development partners will have to continue,” he said.

Muhith, however, said after 2041, Bangladesh would be in such a position when there would be no such need to speak about it as Bangladesh is poised to become a developed country in South Asia by that time.

The veteran minister was addressing the closing session of the two-day Bangladesh Development Forum 2018 held at a city hotel. Local Consultative Group co-chair and USAID mission director in Bangladesh Janina Jaruzelski, Economic Relations Division (ERD) secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam also spoke on the occasion while ERD additional secretary Monowar Ahmed gave the vote of thanks.

The minister said as Bangladesh would be graduating from the LDC status, the country has already started the process of changing its relationship with the development partners in the last two years.

In this process, he said, Bangladesh is being assisted by three of its most important development partners –the World Bank, the ADB and Japan.

Muhith said the terms of assistance with all of these three development partners have changed as Bangladesh has already joined the scale up facilities with the World Bank. “With ADB, we’ve been a mixed country for quite a few years now and Japan is slowly raising the interest rates and other things,” he said.

Muhith went on saying, “I think this is a good process because then you’re not taken by surprise and you’re gradually tuned to the new realities. I think Bangladesh is prepared in pretty well with the changed situation.”

USAID Mission Director Janina Jaruzelski said over the last few decades, Bangladesh has made really impressive gains in many key development indicators.

“Bangladesh’s success in reducing maternal and infant mortality has been one of its most outstanding achievements,” Janina said.

“Our task right now is to sustain Bangladesh’s momentum and its impressive development trajectory, as we work on the SDGs and to do it while no one is left behind,” USAID mission director said.

The LCG co-chair said they also expect and hope to see a growing role for the private sector and civil society as is normally the case in more developed countries.

She also expressed her firm confidence that Bangladesh would achieve its full potential as a prosperous democracy, and its full potential as ‘Sonar Bangla’.

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