'Financing is the key to effectively pursuing the 2030 Agenda and should remain a priority in the Asia-Pacific region'
With a view to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), countries in the Asia-Pacific region should efficiently utilize available resources to ensure their economic development is sustained and has less adverse effects on the environment.
Vatcharin Sirimaneetham, an economic affairs officer at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), put forward the suggestion on Tuesday, while delivering the keynote speech at a policy dialogue styled “Financing for The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Implementation in Asia-Pacific Region.”
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a Dhaka-based think tank, organized the dialogue in collaboration with ESCAP at the Brac Centre Inn in Dhaka.
“While taking policy measures, policy planners should keep the diversity of the region’s economies in view, and specific circumstances of the countries with special needs should also be considered,” Sirimaneetham said.
“Financing is the key to effectively pursuing the 2030 Agenda and should remain a priority in the Asia-Pacific region.”
He further said: “Our assessment shows that the prospects for mobilizing funds for development purposes are promising.”
Underscoring the need for proper utilization of existing financial resources, he said the implementation of policy measures would require additional resources.
AB Mirza Azizul Islam, former adviser to a caretaker government, said Bangladesh lacks necessary skills to make use of the existing financial resources.
“As a result, the ratio of government expenditure to the gross domestic product (GDP) has hovered around 14% of the total GDP over the last five years,” he observed.
“So, we must try to increase our revenues and make efforts to improve the capacity to efficiently utilize available resources.”
Abul Kalam Azad, chief coordinator of SDG affairs in the Prime Minister Office, said the government was working together with development partners to achieve the SDGs.
“The government has taken multiple initiatives for empowering the youth and generating employment through establishing 100 economic zones across the country. It has devised the development plans keeping the SDGs in mind.”
CPD Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun moderated the dialogue attended by, among others, CDP distinguished fellows Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya and Prof Mustafizur Rahman, Research Director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Dialogue and Communication Director Anisatul Fatema Yousuf.