Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Saturday said Bangladesh’s achievements demonstrate that it has built the resources and capabilities to leverage opportunities, and to adapt and grow even in adverse circumstances.
“Now it has become a land of opportunities, a vibrant economy,” Dr Momen said, while addressing a webinar organised by ruling party Awami League looking ahead to the 50th anniversary of independent Bangladesh.
The Foreign Minister pointed out that Bangladesh’s progress in the last half decade has been forged overcoming numerous crises.
International Affairs Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League Dr Shammi Ahmed and Dr Mohsin Habib, senior lecturer at Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology, among others, spoke.
The Foreign Minister said in the decade up to 2019 Bangladesh achieved 188% economic growth and significant reduction in poverty whilst integrating the principles of inclusiveness or inclusion as a development priority.
In the 1970’s, the percentage of population below the poverty line was 78% -now it is only around 20, he said. “No wonder former UN Secretary General Ban ki moon termed it as – a Model of Economic Development,” Dr Momen said adding that it is a “star of women’s empowerment” and a leader in disaster-preparedness.
Going forward, the Foreign Minister said, Bangladesh Perspectives Plan 2021-2041 reflects the central importance of Bangladesh’s four institutional pillars; good governance, democratisation, decentralisation and capacity building, as identified and informed in our national goals.
“These principles will continue to reform and strengthen national and local control of our development agenda that is relevant to meeting Bangladesh’s economic and social targets, and resiliently manage external and often unforeseen pressures,” he said.
In achieving its goals to date, Dr Momen said, Bangladesh has effectively demonstrated the importance of multilateralism by engaging development partners to contribute in both the identification and redress of its development challenges.
“Our foreign policy is also consistent with this multilateral approach, founded on the principle of “friendship to all and malice to none”. We shall continue to demonstrate autonomy around our own development paths, whilst engaging in mutually beneficial development strategies with development partners and respecting each other’s agenda on economic, social and ecological approaches to growth and development,” he said.
The Foreign Minister said they welcome the increasingly common acknowledgement of local agendas in the development process by development partners and the benefits of respectful collaboration in seeking efficiencies and optimisation of the distribution of limited resources to achieve growth targets, while addressing emergent and unpredictable growth.
Identifying the country’s biggest challenges at this stage, Dr Momen mentioned climate volatility, access to water, gainful employment of manpower, the Rohingya refugee problem and the impact of COVID-19.
Source: United News of Bangladesh