Bangladesh eligible for UN ‘developing country’ status

The UN says Bangladesh has fulfilled the eligibility requirements to graduate from ‘Least Developed Country’ to ‘Developing Country’ status and can seek official approval for the advance.

Published : 17 March 2018, 05:01 AM
Updated : 23 March 2018, 01:29 PM

The UN Committee for Development Policy (CPD) gave a letter announcing Bangladesh’s eligibility for graduation to the Bangladesh Permanent Ambassador to the UN Masud Bin Momen on Friday evening in New York.

This begins the graduation process for Bangladesh, which could receive official Developing Country status by 2024.

According to the UN website, Bangladesh met the requirements in March, 2018.

Bangladesh has been on the UN Least Developed Countries (LDC) list since 1975.

Graduation depends upon meeting eligibility criteria scores in Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, the Human Assets Index (HAI) and the Economic Vulnerability (EVI) Index and other country-specific information.

The scores required for graduation from the LDC category are a per capita GNI of $1,230 or above, an HAI of 66 or above and an EVI of 32 or below, according to the standard set by Ecosoc, the UN’s Economic and Social Council.

Bangladesh’s current GNI per capita is $1,610, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics or BBS.

However, according to the UN, Bangladesh’s GNI per capita is $1,274.

The UN said in a 2018 report Bangladesh’s HAI is 73.2 and its EVI 25.2.

“This has been made possible by strong development strategy of Bangladesh led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” said Masud Bin Momen.

“We are moving forward towards peace, prosperity and development following our motto—nobody lags behind. Digital Bangladesh is not only a slogan for us but our people are getting the benefit out of it,” he said.

He said Bangladesh is trying to gain the status of Developed country by 2041 and thanks the UN and other development partners for assisting the process.

“The increase of GNI and development of social sectors including health and education has made it easier for the committee to recommend for Bangladesh’s graduation,” said CDP Secretariat Chief Roland Mollerus.

CPD Expert Group Chairman Jose Antonio Okampo praised Bangladesh for its’ human resource, export sector along with health and education sector.

High Representative for Least Developed, Landlocked, Small Island States Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu said Bangladesh had created a strong foundation for development and poverty reduction.

Diplomats from other countries also congratulated Bangladesh and its’ people praising the recent development. 

Bangladesh government officials, including Finance Minister AMA Muhith are hopeful that if Bangladesh remains on track, Bangladesh will have no problems graduating in 2024.

Though Developing Country status would increase Bangladesh’s bargaining power, the loss of LDC status also comes with a loss in several economic supports and benefits.

Economists say that the challenges can be met through proper planning and implementation of policy.

In July 2015 Bangladesh advanced from a lower income country to a lower-middle income country based on the per capita income categories provided by the World Bank.