Two-day BDF begins on Wednesday

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DHAKA, Jan 15, 2018 (BSS) – The two-day Bangladesh Development Forum 2018 begins in the capital on Wednesday mainly focusing on the review of the 7th Five Year Plan (7FYP) alongside sharing the country’s challenges and way forward on SDGs with the development partners.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the flagship event of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) of the government as the chief guest at the Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon in the capital while Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith will chair the inaugural session.

“The main objectives of the Bangladesh Development Forum 2018 are to review the ongoing 7th Five Year Plan (7FYP) and also to share with the development partners the challenges and way forward towards attaining the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam.

Shofiqul said this at a press conference at the NEC 2 auditorium today on the eve of BDF 2018 meet which was also addressed by the Finance Minister. This would be 3rd such edition of BDF after the first one in 2009 and the 2nd in 2015. The theme of this meet is ‘Partnership for development’.

The ERD Secretary reiterated that Bangladesh would require additional financing of $ 928 billion by 2030 to successfully attain the SDGs.

Speaking on the occasion, Muhith said there would be various sessions in the event including on investment and FDI adding that the present government is giving much more emphasis on investment: “As because, the investment climate is now very good for Bangladesh,”

Besides, he said that the issue of transition of Bangladesh from LDC to the middle-income status would also come up in the Forum.

Noting that financing would be the most serious problem while implementing the SDGs, the minister, however said there would be no such problem with the resources for the country simply because Bangladesh has much better capacity to absorb these resources.

“I don’t see there will be any dearth of resources, particularly of external resources,” Muhith said adding that external resources accounts for only 1.3 percent of the country’s GDP.

The ERD Secretary said Director-General and CEO of OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, World Bank vice president for South Asia region Annette Dixon, vice president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Wencai Zhang, deputy director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Minoru Masujima and many other national and international high level delegates would attend the event.

The main objectives of the BDF 2018 are to effectively address economic, social, and environmental determinants combining multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral action across government and society on some priority areas.

The discussions in the forum will focus on the implementation challenges of the 7th FYP and the looming resource or policy gaps to attain the SDGs.

The key note session of the forum will be devoted to ‘Implementation of the 7th FYP and the SDGs: Challenges and the Way Forward’.

This will be followed by eight thematic working sessions themed on building resilience in agriculture and extreme climate condition; creating enabling environment for FDI and private sector engagement; fostering quality education and skills for employment and promoting innovation in education and ICT.

Thematic working sessions will also be held on addressing inequality and ensuring health for all; addressing violence against women and ensuring women empowerment; improving urban service delivery and managing rural migration; LDC transition: turning challenges into opportunities and integrated SDG financing and strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships.

The BDF will come up with an outcome document spelling out necessary joint steps in each of the thematic areas.