The United Nations Committee for Development Policy (CDP) has recommended Bangladesh’s graduation from the LDC (least developed country) category.
The recommendation came at the CDP’s triennial review on the LDC category in the early hours of Saturday, as the country had met all three criteria in the last three years.
Now the CDP recommendation needs to be approved by the UN Economic and Social Council, and then placed before the UN General Assembly for getting the final nod as a non-LDC country.
As per the system Bangladesh may get the final nod from the UN in 2024, but will get it in 2026 as the government has sought two more years to graduate from the LDC status due to the pandemic.
According to the UN criteria, a country must excel in at least two of the three criteria in two consecutive triennial reviews to be considered for the graduation.
As per the UN’s graduation threshold, the GNI (Gross National Income) per capita of an aspiring country has to be US$1,222 or above.
Bangladesh’s GNI per capita is now $1,827 – well above the ceiling. The per capita income was $1,324 during the last triennial review in 2018.
In terms of the HAI, a country must have a score of 66 or above. Bangladesh has performed better than it did in 2018, as its score increased to 75.4 from 73.4.
The HAI is an indicator of nutrition, health, adult literacy and secondary school enrolment rate.
In the EVI criterion, a country’s score has to be below 32. Bangladesh’s score is now 27.0 against 27.8 three years ago in 2018.
The EVI is a composition of some indicators, such as – instability of agricultural production and exports of goods and services, population size, and share of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in the gross domestic product (GDP).
On the eve of the recommendation for the country’s LDC graduation, Professor Shamsul Alam, member of the Planning Commission’s General Economics Division (GED), told the FE that the graduation would be a milestone for Bangladesh in the golden jubilee of its independence.
When asked about the challenges, he said, “After the graduation, Bangladesh will lose some trade and concessional loan benefits from the developed and developing nations.
“But, as the country will get eight more years as the transition period, it will be well prepared.”
Prof Alam added, “We need to go for some preferential trade agreements and free trade agreements with several nations to tackle the new challenges (after the graduation).”