A national consultation on LDC Graduation and Sustainable Development of Bangladesh took place on 27 February 2018at the CIRDARP auditorium, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The programme was organized by LDC Watch in collaboration with the National Focal Point in Bangladesh – COAST. Rd. Quiz Khaliquzzaman Ahmed, Chairman PKSF was the Chair of the seminar. Dr. Shamsul Alam, Senior Secretary of GED and member of planning commission as a special guest, Md. Anwar Hossain, Additional Secretary of ERD and Md. Hafizur Rahman, Deputy Secretary and Director of WTO Cell were in the panel of speakers.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, the Chief Moderator of EquityBD has moderated the seminar while Syed Aminul Hoque presented the keynote paper.Around 25 civil society organizations participated in the seminar. The civil societies recommended the government to take preparation sustainable graduating from LDCs (Least Development Countries). They also urged to adopt appropriate measures in tackling the current inequality in this regard.

In the keynote paper presented by the Deputy Director of COAST Trust, Syed Aminul Hoque raised the official recommendations of EquityBD and LDC Watch for Bangladesh including (1) Increase domestic resource mobilization through stopping of tax dodging and illicit financial outflow that would support the government to increase her own investment capacity. (2) Expedite pro-poor budgetary allocation for health and education to develop skilled human asset to face the challenges of LDC graduation. (3) Focus climate resilient critical infrastructure to save coastal people and asset. (4) Effective governance to improve development effectiveness.

In his speech Dr. Quazi Khaliquzzaman Ahmed said, the most important issue of this graduation is the dignity of our nation. We deserve this status and it is not anyone’s kindness for us. We have achieved this based on our hard work and performance. We might lose some facilities and advantages that LDCs enjoy in the world’s economic activities. But, we need to look ahead as we can do better by ourselves. Dr. Shamsul Alam, the Senior Secretary of Bangladesh Government said, Quality Education could be the key focus to face the upcoming challenge for Bangladesh while graduating the LDC status as the current way of Education is not meeting the need of Development challenges. We really are not looking for ODA anymore as an LDC when Bangladesh is expecting to be an investing country after this graduation.

Md. Hafizur Rahman, Director of the WTO cell under the Ministry of Commerce said, as an LDC we are not fully enjoying the Special and Differential Preference neither from the Developed Countries like USA, Russia etc. nor from some Developing Countries like India and China. We are looking forward to the greater opportunities as a middle-income country.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, the Chief Moderator of EquityBD said, the biggest challenge toward the sustainability in LDC graduation are climate disaster and inequalities, we need to develop climate resilient infrastructure.
Mr. Anwar Hossain, Additional Secretary of External Resource Division of Bangladesh Government said, while we will be graduating we might lose some LDC facilities but there are opportunities for us too, we have to develop our competitiveness through quality education.

Mr. Gauri Pradhan, the Global Coordinator of LDC Watch said that in the struggle of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), it is a matter of pride that Bangladesh is making a significant stride towards graduation.He expressed LDC Watch’s solidarity and wished the very best for Bangladesh’s advancement towards graduation.