The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to launch a project which will facilitate larger involvement of the Private Sector in development initiatives while boosting corporate results and return on investment.
The MOU, signed by Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee, Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh, and Mr. Abul Kasem Khan, President of DCCI, will create a platform to collect data on the current impact of Private Sector on sustainable development. Together, UNDP and DCCI will use the data to design new initiatives that simultaneously meet Bangladesh’s development priorities and corporate goals.
"As the largest and most vibrant chamber body of Bangladesh, DCCI has been playing an important role for the development of business sector and is engaged in advocating research based policy proposals on various trade, industry and commerce related matters. In this endeavor, DCCI has been a forerunner in creating many initiatives and platforms for the improvement of business environment in Bangladesh. We view this new partnership as a crucial tool for our members to maximize their corporate goals while also contributing to the development of Bangladesh,” said Abul Kasem Khan, President of DCCI.
The signing of this agreement signals a new era of cooperation between UNDP and Private Sector companies. This new direction is already producing tangible results through the work of the Innovation Hub, an alternative partnership model for Private Sector engagement launched in 2017 by UNDP and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme.
The Project on Public Private Innovation will feature a Data Analytics Hub which will quantify Private Sector contributions to Bangladesh’s Social, Economic and Environmental development. The 2017 pilot will be funded by the UNDP Bangkok Regional Bureau for Asia-Pacific. The Centre will also contain a Research and Development (R&D) Hub to encourage sustainable and profitable use of locally sourced products.
“We know that 80 per cent of all development resources come from private sector in the form of employment, research and technological innovation. This is not going to be any different for Agenda 2030, but we will collect data more systematically to track the progress,” said Sudipto Mukerjee, UNDP Bangladesh Country Director.
Private Sector’s key role in development was formalized in September 2015 with the introduction of SDG Agenda 2030. Private Sector Stakeholders were directly involved in the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This joint Agenda sets the opportunity for Private Sector to simultaneously earn profits while contributing to national priorities.
“Today, Bangladesh is indeed passing through a critical transition towards graduating into Middle Income Country in which export-led growth, rapid industrialization supported by a strong private-sector will need to be in the centre of the overall economic strategy. Moreover, increased investment, both local and foreign will be needed for sustaining and accelerating growth, creating jobs, transfer of technology including research and such tie up with UNDP will further help and develop the research goals and objectives,” said Abul Kasem Khan, President of DCCI.