Friday April 27, 2018 01:12 PM

‘Bangladesh is aid independent’

‘Bangladesh is aid independent’
Speakers at a roundtable on development partnerships on WednesdayMEHEDI HASAN

'Bangladesh has already started to dictate the donor agencies, as the country is building the Padma Bridge with its own fund by saying ‘thank you’ to the World Bank, that’s a tremendous signal'

Bangladesh is not an aid-dependent country anymore and it has already started dictating the donor agencies, speakers said at a seminar on Wednesday.

They also emphasized that Bangladesh should transform its aids from grants to concessional loans through building partnership with the foreign parts.

Speakers came up with the remarks at a seminar titled, “Development Partnerships in Middle Income Countries”, held at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) seminar hall.

BIDS Senior Fellow Dr ​Syed Sajjadur Rahman, who is also a faculty-member at International Development and Global Studies department under Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa, Canada presented the keynote paper in the event.

Rahman, in his paper, said: “Bangladesh has to identify the process on how its’ development will take place and it has to take the lead, while the foreign partners will be there as the development partners.”

“In the previous time, the foreign donors dictated Bangladesh and now, the situation has started to reverse,” Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune while talking to this correspondent after the seminar.

He said: “Bangladesh has already started to dictate the donor agencies, as the country is building the Padma Bridge with its own fund by saying ‘thank you’ to the World Bank, that’s a tremendous signal.”

In his paper, Rahman highlighted on middle income trap and gave a series of prescription for Bangladesh in a bid to overcome the trouble.

He emphasized on accelerating economic growth especially by creating employment-intensive growth, promoting social inclusion like delivering social services – building institutions and strengthening social protection, stable governance, and mitigation and adaptation to the impact of global climate change.

He hoped, Bangladesh could be able to overcome the middle income trap as well as the challenges regarding development in the country by adopting the prescribed policies.

BIDS Director General (DG) Dr KAS Murshid said: “It’s true that Bangladesh has not totally aligned with the global dynamics, as the country could not improve its position up to the mark in terms of ownership practice.”

“But, we are heading towards a middle income country while the main challenge is to address the market access-related issues and I think depending on only China in taking loans is not a wise decision.”

He also said: “We have to have the market access as well as competitiveness to address the middle income trap. And for that to happen, Bangladesh has to improve its internal governance.”

Bangladesh should give serious consideration to internal finance management as well as external finances and aids, added the BIDS DG.

BIDS Senior Research Fellow Dr Nazneen Ahmed and Access to Information (a2i) Program of Prime Minister’s Office Project Coordinator Md Mustafizur Rahman also spoke at the event among others.

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