The analysts and policy makers stressed on measure by government to be taken to remove barriers to engage private sector achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) on time. They also urge reducing the cost of doing business, strengthening the skills of human resources and joint programmes by both the government and private organisations in achieving the goals by 2030.
The opinions and suggestions were come out in a seminar styled “Consultation on Private Sector Engagement in Attaining Sustainable Development Goals in Bangladesh: Bonding and Beyond Thoughts” which was organized by General Economic Division of the planning commission in cooperation with United Nations Development Programme at InterContinental Dhaka.
Shamsul Alam, member of the GED, presented a keynote paper at the seminar. He mentioned thet, Bangladesh will require an additional $928 billion to fully achieve the SDGs between fiscals 2016-17 and 2029-30. Analyzing the need spread, he said that public sector would account for 34 percent whereas the private sector’s share has been determined to be 42 percent of the total required fund.
This means the private sector will play a crucial role in providing funds for attaining the SDGs. The SDGs rest on economic, social and environmental factors to ensure that development is sustainable, inclusive and holistic.
The ongoing seventh five-year plan (2016-2020) estimated 77.30 percent financing from the private sector of the total outlay, Alam said.
Citing a UN study, Mr Alam said achieving SDGs in just four economic systems could open 60 market hotspots worth an estimated $12 trillion by 2030 in business opportunities.
The government will have to provide all sorts of logistic support to make the private sector vibrant as there is no scope for fulfilling the goals by way of using only public funds, said Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of Policy Research Institute.
The authority concerned should monitor both the private sector development and achievement of SDGs round the clock, said Mansur, also a former economist of International Monetary Fund.
The cost of doing business will have to be reduced immediately or else the private sector will face hurdles in going forward, said Benajir Ahmed, chairman of the board of trustees of North South University.
There has been a lack of skilled workforce in the country, which is a challenge to achieving the SDGs, said Asif Ibrahim, a director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
More than 14 million Bangladeshis are working abroad but many of them are unskilled, said Shekil Chowdhury, chairperson of the Centre for Non-Resident Bangladeshis.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said both the public and private organisations would have to step forward to implement the SDGs.
Public-private partnership can also play a significant role in lifting the private sector, which will ultimately help attain the goals, he said.
Sudipto Mukerjee, resident representative of UNDP Bangladesh, Md Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator (SDGs affairs) at Prime Minister’s Office, and Institute for Policy Advocacy and Governance chairman Dr Syed Munir Khasru also spoke at the event.