BDF 2015: Government and DPs join forces to implement Global Goals and the 7th Five Year Plan

On 15 and 16 November 2015, Economic Relations Division of the Government of Bangladesh held “Bangladesh Development Forum” (BDF), a high level event where the Government and its development partners explored further partnerships to foster country’s inclusive economic growth.
Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, MP inaugurated the Forum as Chief Guest. Honorable Finance Minister Mr. Abul Maal A. Muhith, MP chaired the inaugural session. President-designate of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Mr. Jin Liqun and Vice President of Asian Development Bank (ADB) Mr. Wencai Zhang, among other high level international delegates participated in the meeting.
The event brought together Ministers, top level representatives of the Bangladesh Government, multilateral, regional and bilateral development institutions from the north and the south, think tanks, universities and civil society organizations, at a crucial time in the country’s development. Bangladesh has just launched its 7th Five Year Plan 2016-2020 aiming to set forth a strong trajectory of sustainable and pro-poor economic growth. Bangladesh in 2015 joined the Lower Middle Income Group. Internationally, the world has just endorsed the UN’s new “Global Goals” as well as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, defining a series of bold measures to overhaul global finance practices and generate investments for implementing the SDGs. The BDF took place only two weeks before the historical international climate conference COP21. The BDF gathered key actors at the highest level to discuss how to foster partnerships to take these ambitious national and international agendas forward in Bangladesh.
At the two day forum, participants called for creating decent jobs and tackling the barriers to growth and investment by building high quality infrastructure and improving the enabling environment for the private sector, building the skills base and expanding regional connectivity. The development community recommended strengthening social protection through fewer but larger, better targeted and more efficient social protection programmes. The forum emphasized the need to improve Bangladesh’s resilience by mainstreaming climate action while taking a holistic approach to climate and disaster risk reduction. Discussants at the meeting stressed the need to improve the equity, quality and efficiency of health and education services and nutrition with a view to build better human capital. The BDF called for enhancing women’s empowerment by increasing women’s participation in the labour force, improving their access to productive resources, eliminating child marriage and eliminating violence against women. Finally, participants made recommendations for strengthening governance, rule of law, justice sector, accountability and transparency through the development of sound public financial management systems and, when appropriate, use of country systems, building public sector capacity and improving domestic resource mobilization. The draft communique that came out of the forum can be read here.