Putting forward six suggestions to consider in framing post-Covid-19 economic recovery plan, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday underscored the need for taking immediate collective action to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
"As we’re witnessing the challenges, we need to take immediate collective and concerted action to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic through expanding trade, business and investment for our common prosperity," she said in a pre-recorded message played in the three-day Qatar Economic Forum Virtual.
The six suggestions the Prime Minister put forward in the Forum include: Taking ambitious climate action to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement, leveraging science, technology, and innovation for closing the digital divide; and having targeted international support to revitalize global trade and export earnings.
The suggestions also include contributing to the reintegration plan of migrant workers highlighted as vulnerable group by the host countries, business leaders and investors in the region should; ensuring new international support measures for the graduating LDCs to prevent any possible sliding back due to the pandemic; and having an inclusive, sustainable and holistic recovery plan for shared prosperity.
In order to ensure sustainable and equitable order after the pandemic, there is a need for a whole-of-the-world approach now.
Hasina said the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the world to multiple setbacks and fragilities as it has already claimed millions of lives and battered the economies.
"We need strong global cooperation to overcome this difficult time," she told the Forum themed ‘Reimagining the World’.
She said the Qatar Economic Forum has provided the platform to identify opportunities, and share ideas and solutions to achieve that goal, and prepare for countering the future crises efficiently.
Saying that the Covid-19 is a litmus test for global solidarity, Hasina said the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda can be the blueprint to overcome this crisis.
The Prime Minister said she firmly believed that the Covid-19 vaccines should be declared as global public goods. "And the developing countries and LDCs that have the capacity should be given the necessary support to produce the vaccines."
She also said over the past few years, the world has been observing the rise of populism, anti-globalization sentiments and economic protectionism around the world. "We’ve to stand together to strengthen multilateralism. As a precondition to expanding economic activities, we need to ensure peace and stability everywhere in the world."
Talking about her own country, she said Bangladesh has achieved sustained growth of more than 6 percent over the past decade.
The country received the final recommendation to graduate from the LDCs. While fighting the current pandemic, it has been trying to make a balance between lives and livelihoods, Hasina added.
"Our government has so far announced various stimulus packages amounting to 15.1 billion US dollars. Despite the pandemic, our GDP growth reached 6.1 percent in 2020-2021, one of the highest in the world," she said.
The Prime Minister said the Digital Bangladesh vision launched by the government 10 years back has helped the country adapt quickly with the new business and work environment triggered by Covid-19.