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Fin Min Kamal calls for ensuring universal access to vaccines

  • Published at 06:19 pm October 20th, 2021
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal
File photo of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh is on its way to bringing back normalcy in its economy due to the extraordinary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal called upon the Asia Pacific leadership to ensure universal and affordable access to vaccines for people across the region on Wednesday.

The finance minister made such a call reiterating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's call to the world community, in the just concluded 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Kamal said this while making his key-note address virtually at the third session of the Committee on MPFD of UNESCAP held in Bangkok on October 20.

The third session of the Committee on Macroeconomic Policy, Poverty Reduction and Financing for Development (MPFD) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) was convened on a virtual platform owing to uncertainties related to the Covid-19.

Kamal joined the conference as a keynote speaker on a special invitation from the Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP. Its sessions are convened every two years and attended by Ministers and senior government officials from Asia-Pacific Countries, said a press release.

Also Read - Finance Minister: Government wants to vaccinate people quickly

Mentioning that Bangladesh takes pride as the leading peacekeeping nation and for its contribution to global peace, Kamal said Bangladesh is also eager to contribute directly to other civil operational activities of the United Nations.

The finance minister shared the remarkable stories of Bangladesh's development journey focusing on the key role of regional cooperation. He informed that Covid-19 brought enormous challenges to the development pathway, but due to the extraordinary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh is on its way to bringing back normalcy in its economy.

He further mentioned that due to well-timed intervention while the global economy is estimated to see a contraction of 3%, Bangladesh is among the few economies with a positive growth rate and that was 3.5% in FY2020 and 5.5% in FY2021.

Kamal hoped that through evidence-based policy analysis, capacity-building, and demand driven regional advisory services, ESCAP can support Bangladesh to build resilience and deepen regional connectivity as well as in its efforts of strengthening regional cooperation for sustainable development through multidisciplinary analysis and support and in developing multi-stakeholder partnerships against global challenges.

He also welcomed the ESCAP's proposal for establishing a thematic advisor's group and hoped that it will be able to give country-specific macro-economic policy advice which will be helpful, to the member countries to design their appropriate macro-economic policies.

Also Read - Finance Minister: Govt to gradually provide free vaccines for all adult citizens

The committee discussed a range of economic policies and innovative financing strategies that are needed to cope with multifaceted challenges brought by the Covid-19.

The delegations from different countries expressed their opinion that enhancing the availability of financial resources and improving the alignment of available public and private investments with Sustainable Development Goals are critical in helping policymakers to transform their economies towards an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development pathway.

To complement the deliberations of the Committee and to enrich the experience of participants, various analytical and knowledge products were also shared and high-level panel discussions were organized, along with special side events, such as a Regional Conversation on Financing for Development.

Finance Minister of Thailand Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Finance Minister of Indonesia Mulyani Indrawati, Finance Minister of Bhutan Lyonpo Namgay Tshering and Federal Economic Affairs Minister of Pakistan Omar Ayub Khan also spoke in the opening session.

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