Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave Dhaka for Qatar on 4 March to attend the LDC5 Summit, which appears to be Dhaka’s last participation as a member state of the grouping of poorer economies as Bangladesh is set to graduate out of the forum by 2026.
A foreign ministry spokesperson said the prime minister was expected to seek global supports for smooth and transition of Bangladesh’s LDC graduation during her participation in the summit to be held on 5-9 March in Doha.
Foreign ministry’s public diplomacy wing director general Seheli Sabrin said Sheikh Hasina was expected as well to seek developed countries to continue trade privileges beyond 2026 that Bangladesh now enjoys as a LDC in view of global recession and Covid-19 impact.
The spokesperson said the Bangladesh prime minister would point out that the LDC and developing nations were worst victims of the pandemic while the Russia-Ukraine war rattled their economies more than that of the developed countries.
She said the prime minister would also explain how the pandemic and the war slowed down the economic growth and created challenges for poorer and developing countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
Sabrin said Sheikh Hasina would call on Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Prime Minister Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani on the summit sidelines.
“She (Sheikh Hasina) is likely to seek Qatar’s support in the areas of fuel oil, as energy prices have shot up due to the Russia-Ukraine war,” the spokesperson added.
The prime minister is also set to meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during the Summit.
She will spend very busy time during the visit as in the morning of 5 March she is set to deliver her speech as a ‘special guest speaker’ at the ‘Opening Plenary Meeting’ of the summit, Seheli said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) president Csaba Korosi and Malawi President and the current chairperson of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera are also scheduled to address the session.
In the afternoon that day, the prime minister will address a side event titled ‘Sustainable and Smooth Transition for the Graduating Cohort of 2021’ organised by the three Asian countries - Bangladesh, Nepal and Lao PDR - are on the way to transition from the list of LDC.
On the morning of 6 March, she will deliver a speech as the chief guest at the business summit titled “The Rise of Bengal Tiger: Potentials of Trade & Investment in Bangladesh”, jointly organised by Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).
In that afternoon, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend a side event arranged by Bangladesh titled ‘Investment in Research and Development in LDCs for Smart and Innovative Societies’ as the chief guest.
Egypt, Singapore, and Estonia’s ministerial level representatives will attend the side event, while high level officials of several international organisations including WTO, UN Tech Bank for LDCs and OECD are also scheduled to join the occasion.
In the evening of the same day, Sheikh Hasina will attend the ‘Regional Envoys Conference’ organised with Bangladesh ambassadors stationed in GCC countries consisting Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
On 7 March morning, Sheikh Hasina will attend a high level roundtable ‘Enhancing the participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in International Trade & Regional Integration’ as a co-chair.
In that afternoon, the prime minister will join a side event as the chief guest ‘Global Partnership for Smooth and Sustainable Graduation: Marching towards Smart Bangladesh organised by Bangladesh.
The Minister of Denmark, UNCTAD General Secretary and high officials of different international organisations including WTO, UNIDO, and OECD will also attend the side event.
On the same day evening, the primer will join the event organised by the Bangladesh expatriates and community living in Qatar as the chief guest.
The prime minister is expected to leave Qatar for home on 8 March.