- Bangladesh aspires to achieve high-income status by 2041
- Bangladesh achieves the highest cumulative GDP growth globally
- Ambassadors from 12 countries applaud Bangladesh’s development
In recent decades, Bangladesh has undergone a noteworthy transformation, transcending from poverty to becoming a global exemplar for developing nations. The nation is progressively evolving into a welfare state, expanding a comprehensive and inclusive social safety net comparable to those seen in developed countries.
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With a long-term vision of attaining high-income status by 2041, the government recognizes the imperative need to modernize its governance, approach to policies, and partnerships. It is essential to enhance public operational capacities and reform the policy framework to effectively address the challenges that lie ahead.
In a significant announcement on Thursday, February 1, 2024, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled an ambitious goal for her government’s current tenure—aiming to eliminate the extreme poverty rate in Bangladesh entirely.
This declaration took place during a courtesy call with non-resident ambassadors and high commissioners from 12 countries at her official residence, Ganabhaban.
Remarkable Decline in Poverty Rates
Bangladesh has made significant strides in reducing poverty and improving living standards. The latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) data shows a decrease in the poverty rate from 40.0% in 2005 to 18.7% in 2022. This decline has been accompanied by an overall improvement in people’s purchasing power, strengthening their ability to access basic items better. The country’s commitment to women’s empowerment is reflected in the growing participation of women in the political landscape, and healthcare achievements, such as the successful community clinic initiative, have led to a substantial decline in maternal and child mortality rates. Additionally, Bangladesh has adopted a people-centered development approach and has achieved the highest cumulative GDP growth globally.
The World Bank reports that extreme poverty in Bangladesh has decreased to 5%, comparable to Latin America and the Caribbean, and other measures of well-being have also improved, including reduced infant mortality and improved access to electricity and sanitary toilets. The country’s sustained economic growth has led to improved living conditions and a reduction in poverty, with rural areas experiencing faster poverty reduction than urban areas.
Despite the global economic challenges posed by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in poverty alleviation. The country’s long-term vision is to achieve high-income status by 2041, and it has adopted a people-centered development approach under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
In a bid to attract foreign investments, Prime Minister Hasina called upon the envoys to explore opportunities in the 100 special economic zones established in Bangladesh. She assured the diplomatic representatives that the government is actively working to create a business-friendly atmosphere and improve communication for foreign investors.
During the courtesy call, non-resident ambassadors and high commissioners from Botswana, Cambodia, Gambia, Hungary, Jamaica, Macedonia, Mongolia, Luxemburg, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Peru, and Venezuela congratulated Sheikh Hasina on her re-election as prime minister for the fourth consecutive term.
They expressed admiration for the remarkable development and progress witnessed in Bangladesh, attributing it to the far-sighted leadership of Prime Minister Hasina.
Govt’s Vision on Poverty Alleviation
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has been driving significant poverty reduction initiatives. The ongoing 8th Five Year Plan (2020-2025) aims to reduce the poverty rate to 15.6% by 2025, maintaining the current pace of poverty reduction. The government’s forward-looking approach, as highlighted by the ambitious “Vision 2021” and “Vision 2041” initiatives, focuses on infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and social safety nets. The “Vision 2041” aims to eradicate extreme poverty and attain High-Income Country (HIC) status by 2041, with the target poverty rate set at 7.0% by FY 2031 and less than 3% by FY 2041. The government has also been adopting and implementing bold, strong, people-centered, and inclusive poverty alleviation policies, which have received international praise and have helped Bangladesh exceed Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets for a hunger- and poverty-free society.
In tandem with comprehensive economic transformation projects, the government is actively engaged in the adoption and execution of robust, people-centric, and inclusive policies aimed at alleviating poverty. The cumulative success in diminishing poverty is attributed to well-crafted strategies, including fortifying social safety nets, providing financial incentives, promoting micro-savings, implementing effective disaster risk reduction programs, and bolstering resilience against climate change impacts. These initiatives have garnered global acclaim, positioning Bangladesh above and beyond the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) benchmarks for a society free from hunger and poverty.
The 8th Five Year Plan (8th FYP) is a strategic roadmap for Bangladesh covering the period from July 2020 to June 2025. It plays a crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and implementing the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, with a focus on post-LDC graduation transition and COVID-19 recovery. The plan aims to reduce the poverty rate to 15.6 percent based on the high poverty line and to 7.4 percent based on the low poverty line by 2025
Govt’s Ambitious Plan
The plan emphasizes inclusive growth and prosperity, guided by the principle of “Leaving No One Behind,” and includes targeted strategies for communities and regions that lag behind in economic and social development indicators. The government has made allocations for the plan, targeting 8.37 percent economic growth on average. The plan’s progress in poverty reduction has been described as “extremely solid,” with significant reductions in moderate and extreme poverty. The plan is also aligned with the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for FY 2023-2027, focusing on creating jobs, increasing human capital, building efficient infrastructure, and attracting private investment to attain upper middle-income status by 2031.
However, there have been challenges and shortfalls in the plan’s implementation, partly due to the impact of COVID-19 and internal factors, requiring additional reforms and resources to achieve its goals.