Inclusive development should be ensured along with achieving growth. Inclusive development is the main condition to eliminate inequality. We all need to work to accelerate social, economic and environmentally sustainable development. Industries and related stakeholders have to play a leading role in dealing with climate change and these actions can be influenced through value-based work.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken on various innovative projects to ensure the sustainable development of men and women in remote areas of the country. As a result, appreciable progress has been made in poverty alleviation. Sheikh Hasina is a role model for disaster management, women’s employment and development for the whole world. The investment should be made for the common good. Ethics, prevailing laws and principles should be given priority in investing in the banking sector. Investments in vaccines, life-saving medicines, renewable energy and climate change should be encouraged instead of tobacco. The concept of sustainable development in financial sectors can make an important contribution to achieving various government targets. Therefore, the investment plan in the banking sector should be formulated taking into consideration the needs of the underprivileged and backward communities of the country.
The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formulated the country’s constitution and foreign policy within a few months of his return to Bangladesh on January 10, 1972. The key elements of his foreign policy were friendship with all, enmity with none and friendly coexistence. Based on that principle, Bangladesh has a meaningful and trustful relationship with almost all the countries of the world.
Our activities have been focused on political relations in the past but are now more focused on economic diplomacy. This trend is now the reality for every country in the world. Bangladesh is a developing country. Now they are dreaming of getting a place in the ranks of developed countries. To make Bangladesh a developed country, taking into account what we have and what we need to achieve, the plan that the government has made will be the guide to move towards the desired goal.
We have to work in the international field sometimes to fulfill our purpose, sometimes to take others into our confidence, so that the interests of both are protected. In this regard, the role of our political leaders and professional diplomats is the most important. But we must pay attention to related issues including the international political equation.
Bangladesh is enjoying special opportunities for exporting to various countries. But with now entering the developing country group, those advantages will no longer exist in a few years. In that context, Bangladesh has to face many challenges in the competitive world. Therefore, strategies and policies for export potential have to be formulated. As our diplomats have to find markets for our products, we have to suggest to the manufacturers to produce products that can easily enter the competitive market.
Our experience in attracting foreign investment is not good. Because the foreign investment flow in Bangladesh is not meeting our expected targets. Of course, there are flaws in the existing process, which is discouraging investors. FDI plays one of the main roles in increasing the economic output of a country as well as creating employment. And employment helps substantially in reducing poverty and income inequality.
This year export earnings will exceed 51 billion dollars. It is expected to exceed 60 billion dollars in the next year. The minister also said that we two countries are working together to reduce the trade deficit between China and Bangladesh. There will be good news about FTA (Free Trade Agreement) very soon. FTA brings benefits to both countries for a long-term trade. Through this, both countries will be in a win-win situation.
Bangladesh, once known as a small economy in the world, has emerged as the fastest-growing economy in the world. Bangladesh is progressing vigorously towards becoming a developed and modern state by eradicating hunger and poverty. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is leading the country towards development and prosperity by plowing through all the obstacles. Success history is being written in every post of her regime. In the past 13 years of Sheikh Hasina’s government, Bangladesh has achieved many successes only because of the visionary leadership of this country. The main goal of this country’s economic diplomacy is to attract foreign investment, encourage expatriate investment, strengthen commercial relations with various countries and increase the export of Bangladeshi products to achieve the ‘Vision-2041’ taken by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The social progress, economic prosperity and incredible success of the government in the fight against terrorism and the sacrifice of Bangabandhu and the vision of Sheikh Hasina to the people of the world. So that the image of Bangladesh changes in the outside world and the world knows that Bangladesh is the best destination for investment. Bangladesh’s return on investment from other countries is relatively good. The main goal is to promote the success story of Bangladesh by promoting the success story of Bangladesh by involving Bangladeshis living abroad, involving various renowned universities and colleges abroad, and connecting with the civil society, media, and policy-makers of the country. Bangabandhu’s sacrifice, struggle for democracy, justice and human rights sacrifices, religious tolerance, cultural heritage, political stability, investment opportunities, and environment, developed infrastructure, large working and skilled youth, capacity in the IT field etc.
Since the present government took charge, the foreign policy of the country has been following the question of economic development with importance. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set a specific vision to achieve economic development and prosperity in the country.
Sheikh Hasina is running the country with a strong hand after facing all the storms for 13 long years. Due to her competent and tactful leadership, Bangladesh is getting a chance to move towards balanced development. Bangladesh has come to its current position after crossing many obstacles. Stability is the main basis for the development of any organization, institution, or even state. That stability comes through people’s basic education, patriotism, communal harmony, economic development, emergency medical care, and hunger relief. Sheikh Hasina’s government is moving forward with great importance on every issue.
Inclusive societies are essential to achieving SDGs, but we are still lagging behind. In 2015, the ‘SDGs’ were adopted by all countries of the world, with a universal call to eradicate poverty, secure wealth and achieve peace and prosperity for all people by 2030. Through the pledge to ‘leave no one behind, the member states of the United Nations are committed to the priority development of the most backward communities.
Currently, despite economic progress, disabled people are deprived of socio-economic benefits in our country. They face many obstacles in terms of economic development and full participation in social life, which are obstacles to sustainable development. Building an inclusive society ensures basic human rights and normal living standards. For sustainable development, social inclusion needs to be ensured by overcoming socioeconomic barriers and creating opportunities for the full participation of all.
We are now working for achieving the SDGs. Achieving SDGs requires the establishment of inclusive societies and economies. At the heart of the SDGs is inclusiveness. Number 10 of this goal talks about reducing inequality. A major challenge facing Bangladesh today is to develop its citizens as proper human resources, and an inclusive approach and approach is very important in this development journey.
Although the government has taken various commendable initiatives including special allowances, education stipends, interest-free bank loans, and health facilities for the development of the disabled, there are still several challenges in this field, said the stakeholders. Significant challenges include financial inclusion of the disabled, effective measures for skill development, appropriate employment, and provision of a disability-friendly work environment. Most importantly, their inclusion in the mainstream of society through financial inclusion is a major challenge in achieving SDGs.
In the era of SDGs, inclusive development programs are essential to achieve development goals. Sustainable economic growth and social prosperity of the country can be expected through extensive participation in the opportunities necessary to improve the quality of life of the poor and socially backward people. It is not possible to build a Bangladesh of equality by keeping the disabled out of society. The place of work for disabled people is limited, the government as well as the society and private institutions should extend their hand of cooperation to advance them.
The prevailing negative view of disabled people in society cannot in any way play a helpful role in building a humane society. In order to create a disability-inclusive society, it is necessary for all concerned to work together. If steps can be taken to develop physical infrastructure as well as necessary education, training and skill development for the disabled keeping in mind their special needs, then their performance and capabilities are in no way inferior to the healthy body of the conventional concept. Necessary steps need to be taken to remove the social and cultural barriers in building disabled-friendly physical infrastructure, providing training and providing employment. For this purpose, all public and private institutions should come forward.
It has been almost a century since Bangladesh signed the Charter on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. But the fate of persons with disabilities has not changed much. Bangladesh National Building Code 2017 is still not being followed. There is still a lack of accessibility for persons with disabilities in the country because no one is following building codes. Also, the public transport system is still not disabled-friendly. There is also discrimination in employment.
The persons with disabilities in Bangladesh still face many barriers to inclusion in various aspects of society. As a result, they are deprived of equal opportunities in employment, education, social and other fields. Most people with disabilities in Bangladesh live in poverty. Disability has not yet been integrated into the development agenda.
Most people in our country have a negative perception of disability. Persons with disabilities are discriminated against in many ways due to misconceptions about them. The views of persons with disabilities are generally not taken into account and their rights are often violated, which ultimately excludes them from the mainstream of development.
It is very important to form a separate ministry for the employment of persons with education, skill development training, ensuring social security, expedited assistance in natural disasters, ensuring social security and stopping all forms of harassment against them. If a separate ministry is formed, it will help in realizing their rights.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and researcher