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'Bangladesh: A Development Success Story' – CSIS holds Webinar in Washington DC

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 27th October, 2021 08:23:15 PM
  • Print news

Speakers at a discussion highlighted the remarkable economic and social transformation taken place during the last one decade under the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a leading think tank based in Washington DC, hosted an event titled “Bangladesh: A Development Success Story” on Monday (Oct 25).

CSIS invited Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States M. Shahidul Islam to deliver the keynote speech on the development theme of the event.

Daniel F. Runde, Senior Vice President of CSIS, former US Ambassador to Bangladesh Ambassador Dan Mozena, former Foreign Secretary Ambassador Farooq Sobhan, former President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Rubana Huq and Managing Director, BRAC Enterprises Tamara Hasan Abed took part as panel discussants at the event. 

Ambassador M Shahidul Islam in his speech said that Bangladesh has successfully translated economic growth into social progress and the country has notably advanced its human and social development indicators including health, education, and demographic outcomes.

He appreciated the role of the USA for being a consistent development partner in the development journey of Bangladesh, said the Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC.

Ambassador Farooq Sobhan noted that a country that is roughly the same size as Iowa, Bangladesh has attained self-sufficiency in food production and feeding its 180 million people.  Bangladesh was 98% dependent on foreign aid in 1971 that has gradually decreased to 3%, he noted.

Referring to the recent IMF report that said Bangladesh will have a $500 billion plus economy by 2025, the former foreign Secretary attributed these increases to: A robust private sector; the growth of the garment industries; a thriving NGO network; and the improvement of female education and employment.

Former BGMEA President, Rubana Huq, described Bangladesh as akin to a phoenix, in that it always rises from the ashes.

She noted the resilience of the private sector, the thriving NGO network, and good governance as the reasons behind the success of the country. 

BRAC MD Tamara Abed mentioned that Bangladesh’s population density was an asset for the country, as it has aided in the delivery of social programs, mobile intervention, financial inclusion, and microfinance.

Former US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena shared his firsthand experience of working with the dynamic people who are the driving force of the economy.

He observed that the people-driven success was led by the government of Bangladesh and supported by partners like the US. He also appreciated the hardwork of the Bangladeshi people, where he believed women and girls contribute in a big manner.

The panel members agreed that Bangladesh has been inordinately successful in facilitating economic and social progress, especially when compared to other South Asian nations and highlighted the sound government policies, increased rates of literacy, increased involvement of women in the workforce, and the growth of the garment district as contributors to this progress.

Vice President of CSIS Dan Runde expressed hope that he would continue to work with the Embassy in disseminating the positive stories of Bangladesh as many countries can learn from this example.

A big number of participants joined the webinar and discussed various development aspects of Bangladesh.