Screen grab from the United Nations website

Is Bangladesh now no longer a Least Developed Country? Are we a Developing Country then? Debates arose about this after state sponsored rallies took over the streets of Dhaka on March 22

 

“Bangladesh becomes Developing Country”, “Bangladesh gets recognized as Developing Country” – these were the headlines in different news websites last week. The websites stated Bangladesh is now officially recognized by the UN as a developing country.

 

Social media is not far behind in propagating this claim. What is being declared however, could not be further from the actual truth.

The fact is that Bangladesh has only been declared as “eligible” – which means that the United Nations has recognized Bangladesh’s potential to be a Developing Country. Bangladesh’s profile on the United Nations website still states that Bangladesh maintains LDC status.
All this means is that Bangladesh is being observed by the United Nations. If Bangladesh maintains its current growth of Gross National Income per Capita, Human Assets Index and Economic Vulnerability Index, until 2024, then Bangladesh will be officially recognized as a Developing Country. The Daily Independent picked up this nuance.

If the Gross National Income Per Capita is less than 1,025 USD then the country is considered a Least Developed Country. If this crosses 1,230 USD, then the country becomes eligible to be a Developing Country. Bangladesh currently stands at 1,274 USD. In terms of the Human Assets Index, Bangladesh has 72 points – countries with less than 62 points are considered LDCs, and if they cross 64 points, they gain eligibility for promotion. The Economic Vulnerability Index of Bangladesh is 25.2 – the threshold for demotion to LDC is 36, and recognition of eligibility is 32. 

There are three sets of criteria based on which a country can be considered eligible for promotion to a Developing Country, and Bangladesh has shown promise in all three regards for the first time. Nepal and Timur had also previously fulfilled all the criteria but their economic and political challenges prevented them from being recommended for a promotion.

Similarly Bangladesh too has miles to cross.

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