UNCTAD report on LDCs launched
BD performs well in terms of HR dev, economic growth
Bangladesh has performed well in terms of human resource (HR) development and economic growth compared with many other Least Developed Countries (LDCs), said the UNCTAD Report-2011 on LDCs revealed by a local think-tank in the capital Thursday.
“Bangladesh should take the opportunities of South-South cooperation in order to attain sustainable development and inclusive growth,” it added.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) launched the report prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which was released Thursday globally from its office in the city.
CPD Executive Director Prof Mustafizur Rahman said South-South cooperation is essential for LDCs including Bangladesh for their sustainable development.
“The South-South cooperation can be conducive to the emergence of an effective and stronger state in the LDCs,” he said quoting the report.
He said that Bangladesh should get continued duty-free access to the developed countries’ markets with technological and financial support in order to be graduated from the LDC status.
Head of research of the CPD Dr Fahmida Khatun said the major challenges that the LDCs are facing are extreme poverty and GDP growth.
She said the share of total number of people living in extreme poverty in LDCs increased from 18 per cent in 1990 to 27 per cent in 2000.
It reached 36 per cent in 2007 and the real per capita GDP was 2 per cent of that of developed economies at the beginning of 1970s that declined to only 1.5 per cent in 2009.
The report said in terms of economic vulnerability, Bangladesh shows better accomplishment compared with other LDCs.
But in case of real growth of per capita GDP, the performance is average, the same as LDCs and well below the Asian LDCs.
It said the country’s capital formation looks good but the saving-investment gap needs considerable attention.
“Bangladesh remains the largest recipient of remittance among the LDCs. Bangladesh was placed 6th among the top LDC exporters to Southern Partners (SP) in 2009 after Angola, Sudan, Yemen, Myanmar and Equatorial Guinea,” the report said.
It said that Bangladesh’s share of the total LDCs’ merchandise export to SP is 3.2 per cent. Of the LDCs, Bangladesh is maintaining low (among the lowest) external debt GDP ratio.
The report shows the economic ties between the LDCs and other developing countries are increasing rapidly, with US$ 69 billion of exports from the LDCs mainly to China and India. Developing countries account for over half of LDCs’ total merchandise imports.
It also highlighted a number of crucial areas where LDCs including Bangladesh should focus in their attempt to build developmental state in their own countries for strengthening global strengthening of their economies.
South-South cooperation brings forth not only opportunities but new challenges ahead of LDCs in view of differences in geography, population, economy size and capacity of the countries.
It also puts emphasis on the importance of institutions both at regional and national level.
Financial cooperation using Sovereign Wealth Fund through investment in infrastructure, agriculture, capacity building and productive sectors can leverage the development goals of the LDCs which in turn would benefit both the parties.
The report calls for the establishment of an enabling policy framework to harness the growing economic ties within the South with the goal of fostering structural transformation and economic diversification. The UNCTAD study also urges the LDCs to forge a proactive and strategic approach to their integration with developing country partners, leveraging synergies and complementarities across them.
The South-South cooperation should be viewed as a complementary and reinforcing element to North-North cooperation, the report mentioned.
“South-South cooperation should be a complement not a substitute for North-South cooperation,” the report added.