Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
Prime Minister Andrew Holness,
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Assalamu Alaikum and a very good afternoon.
I am very happy to join you during the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the independence of Bangladesh.
More than one year has passed since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the world is still struggling to overcome the socio-economic challenges posed by it. The UN has estimated that the global economy is expected to lose nearly 8.5 trillion dollars in output over the next two years.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In Bangladesh, our government adopted comprehensive plans to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of our people. We immediately rolled out a stimulus package worth more than 1.24 trillion taka equivalent to USD 14.58 billion, which is around 4.44% of our GDP. We have provided adequate liquidity and loanable funds in the market to ensure uninterrupted business operation. We undertook supportive policy interventions to minimise shocks on foreign exchange market, foreign trade and finance, remittances, external borrowing etc.
Despite the pandemic, Bangladesh has still been comfortably servicing its debt with the reputation of ‘non-defaulting party’ because of the prudent borrowing policy of the government.
We need ambitious and concerted global action plans to address the liquidity crises and sovereign debt burdens now and in post COVID-19 era.
We need robust leadership from the G7, G20 and OECD countries. Developed countries, MDBs and IFIs should scale up liquidity for vulnerable countries, such as large and new ‘Special Drawing Rights’ allocation. International debt architecture also needs to be revisited for suitable reform. The developed countries need to fulfil their 0.7 percent ODA commitment. They should also expand fiscal stimulus, concessional finance and debt relief measures for vulnerable economies.
Finally, there must be new international support measures for the graduating LDCs, at least till 2030, commensurate with the SDGs.
Thank you all.