The entire country must remain focused, ensure proper planning, and not get complacent
Bangladesh’s eventual graduation to a developing country with middle-income status from an LDC will unquestionably be one of its landmark achievements since its inception as a nation.
However, what must be remembered is that though Bangladesh gained eligibility for the developing country category in 2018 -- meeting the three pre-requisite criteria -- it will still have to pass two more reviews in 2021 and 2024 to get rid of the LDC tag.
On that front, the suggestion made by the Centre for Policy Dialogue -- to concentrate on increasing investment and diversifying our export basket -- is a prudent and timely reminder that in order to fulfill our long-term vision and goals, the entire country must remain focused, ensure proper planning, and not get complacent.
While Bangladesh may be the first LDC to potentially graduate to the status of developing country by meeting all three pre-requisite criteria, there are challenges on the horizon that it must address strategically. These include over-reliance on our apparel industry, strengthening our limited productive capacity in manufacturing and services, and having more fluid market access and investment opportunities by addressing our ease of doing business.
There is hope that the government is paying attention; initiatives such as the economic zones and significant investment in bolstering our ICT sector are a few examples that they have the long-term interest of the country in mind.
Though it can be tempting to start celebrating our successes -- and Bangladesh has achieved much, and has reason to celebrate especially over the last decade or so -- there is still much to be done.