17/11/2011: Bangladesh performing well among LDCs

Bangladesh has done better than many other least developed countries (LDCs) in terms of overall development scenario, particularly in economic vulnerability category, according to LDC Report 2011 released yesterday by Unctad.

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) unveiled the report at its office on behalf of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).However, with the better performance in reducing economic vulnerability, Bangladesh requires to increase per capita gross national income (GNI) and improve human assets index further to obtain the status of a developing country.

According to the report, Bangladesh's per capita GNI stands at $640, below the threshold of $905, while the human assets index is 53.3, also below the threshold of 60. The graduation level for this category is 66. However, the country's score in the economic vulnerability index is 23.2 against the threshold of 38, which is good."We need to improve performances in at least two out of these three categories," said CPD Executive Director Mustafizur Rahman at the report launching ceremony.

Fahmida Khatun, CPD head of research, presented the report which suggested that the 48 LDCs tap the potential of south-south cooperation (with developing countries) to attain inclusive and sustainable development.Predicting a slow plunge in short- and mid-term economic growth of the LDCs due to ongoing economic crisis, the Unctad recommended increasing of trade and investment through south-south cooperation to enhance productive capacities.

The report said Bangladesh is the top recipient of remittance and the 6th biggest exporting country among the LDCs. Angola, Sudan, Yemen, Myanmar and Equatorial Guinea serially topped the list of most successful exporters among the LDCs.

Bangladesh's share of total LDC merchandise export to Southern partners (developing countries) is 3.2 per cent. The country showed resilience to offset external shock during the global recession and has achieved a satisfactory level of real GDP per capita in comparison to many other LDCs, the report said.

The report prised the share and trend of capital formation in Bangladesh but suggested to reduce savings-investment gap.It also showed that Bangladesh's debt service to export ratio fell from 39.9 per cent in 1990 to 5.5 per cent in 2009.Of the LDCs, Bangladesh maintains a low external debt GDP ratio, said Fahmida Khatun, adding that the country's external debt-GDP ratio declined from 40.8 per cent in the 1990 to 26.7 per cent in 2009.

Source: The Daily Star, Dhaka