A collaborative effort of both public and private sector will expedite attaining SDG by the year 2030, said Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs), Prime Minister’s Office. He made this comment at a seminar on “strategies for business benefits from SDG for the private sector” organized by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) on 1st March 2017. Md. Abul Kalam was present as the chief guest while former Adviser to the caretaker government and Executive Chairman, Power and Participation Centre (PPRC) Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman and Member (Senior Secretary), General Economic Division, Planning Commission Dr. Shamsul Alam were present as special guests.
Former DCCI President and Advisor, SDG & Strategy 2030 Committee of DCCI Asif Ibrahim presented the keynote paper. DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan chaired the seminar.
In his welcome remarks DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan said with prudent macroeconomic management, incremental economic growth, per capita income of $1466, Bangladesh is advancing to graduate into Middle Income Country by 2021. The SDG is expected to reshape ‘tomorrow’s business era accompanied by diverse opportunities and challenges, he said. He also said out of the 17 goals in the SDG, Goal 7, 8, 9, 12, 14 and 17 are apparently and largely associated with trade, business and investment triggering wide-ranging opportunities for private sector. He said for facilitating the private sector in the SDG regime FDI and Tax/GDP ratio net need to be raised from the current levels. He also stressed for facilitating cross border trade, regional trade, Increased public-private partnerships under SDGs. Industry, trade and business reforms are equally critical priorities for the participation of private sector under the SDG achievements plans, he pointed out. It was estimated that Private investment and GDP ratio needs to be scaled up to 40% equivalent to $400 Billion by the year 2030 to meet the SDGs.
Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs), Prime Minister’s Office said to become successful in attaining SDGs private sector will have to play the vital role as 70 percent contribution will be from the private sector. He said government has already done the mapping of ministries, gap analysis and set targets for SDGs. Government has also set the responsible Ministries to achieve the target and some cross cutting supporting organizations have also been identified. He said government has linked the sustainable development goals with the 7th five year plan. He further said if government, private sector, NGO and civil society work together SDGs can be achieved before 2030.
Former Advisor to the caretaker government and Executive Chairman of PPRC Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman said we have seen global inequality and economic disorder for the last couple of decades. He said for poverty alleviation in real sense, we have to change our development models. He further said we have to address the regional inequality also for SDG. MDG was basically project centric whereas SDG is related to create enabling environment for growth, he mentioned. He said NGOs should be more innovative to their social services. He also urged the government to establish more high schools in the country in order to give quality education and create a knowledgeable society in future as it will ultimately return a lot. He said RMG is surely a growth driver for us in recent days, but the private sector has to create other growth driver like Agriculture which is still untapped.
Dr. Shamsul Alam, Member (Senior Secretary), General Economic Division, Planning Commission said we have linked SDG with our 7th five year plan. There is also a monitoring committee to look after and evaluate the activities of SDGs, he said. He also said, interestingly the goals of SDG are inter-linked and implementation of one goal impacts the other one. He said three things are important of SDG, one is economic growth, social integration and conservation of environment. He also said that Bangladesh will achieve 8.5 percent to 9 percent GDP growth by the year 2030. He also stressed for positive branding of Bangladeshi export items.
DCCI former President and Advisor, DCCI SDG committee Asif Ibrahim presented the keynote paper. He highlighted according to PWC’s report 71 percent businesses are planning how they will engage with SDGs and 13 percent of businesses have identified the tools they need to assess impact of SDGs. SDG agenda will usher new opportunities for businesses like recycling industry, paper and pulp industry, water purification, food waste management, e-waste management and renewable energy. He said Bangladesh need to follow the international guidelines. He also termed that SDGs is an opportunity for Bangladesh’s private sector.
Assistant Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh Khurshid Alam stressed on employment generation, creating skilled workforce, poverty alleviation, environmental protection. He also said we have to work on sustainability of growth of private sector.
DCCI Director Engineer Akber Hakim said we have to utilize our own resources in a best manner. He said according to a recent report Asia needs $28 trillion investment in only infrastructure sector. He said we have to increase our export and in order to increase export we have to manufacture more.
DCCI member MS Siddiqui, Managing Director of Confidence Group Salman Karim, Executive Director, PRIP Trust Aroma Dutta, Private Sector Coordinator of OXFAM Md. Anisur Rahman Chowdhury, Assistant Professor of University of Dhaka Md. Rashedur Rahman, Chairman of Ganoshastha Kendro Dr. Zafarullah Chowdhury, Country Director of Actionaid Bangladesh Farah Kabir, DCCI Director K. Atique-e-Rabbani, DCCI Director Abdul Muktadir, Secretary General of International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh Ataur Rahman and Convenor of DCCI SDG and Strategy 2030 committee Andaleeb Hasan took part in the open discussion session. The discussants emphasized on inclusive development activities, public-private partnership, influx of foreign and local investment, industry academy research, SME development and creating business friendly environment.
DCCI Senior Vice President Kamrul Islam, FCA gave vote of thanks. DCCI Vice President Hossain A Sikder, Directors Asif A Chowdhury, Md. Alauddin Malik, Osman Gani, former Senior Vice President Haider Ahmed Khan, FCA, MS Shekil Chowdhury, former Vice President M Abu Hurairah, Absar Karim Chowdhury and Secretary General of DCCI AHM Rezaul Kabir were also present in the seminar.