Bangladesh needs $67billion a year to achieve SDGs: FM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday said Bangladesh would need around $67 billion every year till 2030 to achieve the targets of SDGs. He was speaking at the ‘Startup World Cup 2020Top Startups Pitch Event’ in Dhaka. State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak was also present.

The foreign minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is leading the country to the destination of prosperous Bangladesh. “To reach our goal, she has set a number of visions like becoming a fully digital developing country by 2021, achieving SDGs by 2030 and a developed country by 2041.”

“A huge amount of money, different types of resources and services would be required to achieve this dream,” he said. Where this huge resource will come from and how do we generate the enormous growth every year? He replied: “The answer lies in our innovative solutions to the problems of social development and economic growth, building a nation free from the scourges of poverty, hunger, exploitation, and injustice.”

He urged youths and young innovators “to venture into social, economic, industrial and educational startups in addition to predominantly software-based ones.”  “The emergence of 4IR technologies is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. In the same way when it comes to new technology and new networks, there are seemingly unlimited possibilities for increased human connectivity,” he said.

“These possibilities will be increased manifold by emerging technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, automation, autonomous transportation, 3-D printing even of human organs, biotechnology and development of synthetic organisms and bio-sensors, nanomaterials, cryptocurrency, block chain, quantum computing and above all, the internet of things.”

He said both government and private sectors, must embrace innovations at their core to survive and thrive in the age of 4IR. “Innovations would be the vital ingredient for sustainability of any sector during this fast changing times,” he said. 

The foreign minister also highlighted the contribution of Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of the prime minister, for the ICT sector development in Bangladesh. Under his guidance, the government has set a target by 2021 of having 2 million ICT skilled persons, establishment of e-governance and earning revenue of $5 billion.

“To help achieve these targets, the government has declared tax holiday till 2024, only 1 percent import tax for materials of hardware industry and exceptional cash incentive of 10 percent for ICT export.”