Bangladesh’s Finance Minister H.E. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali Leads Strategic Economic Dialogue at 2024 IsDB Annual Meetings

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 30 April 2024 - On the second day of the Islamic Development Bank Group’s (IsDB) 2024 Annual Meetings, convened in a pivotal Governors Dialogue Session on the economic diversification of Bangladesh, one of the Bank’s founding member countries. Part of the ongoing Annual Meetings, which have attracted significant international attention amidst IsDB’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, the session featured H.E. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, the finance minister and IsDB Governor of Bangladesh. In a lively and comprehensive dialogue with the Group Chief Economist Dr. Areef Suleman, Honorable Minister Ali shared thoughtful insights on Bangladesh’s development progress and challenges, exploring strategies for further economic diversification amidst global economic shifts.

The objective of the dialogue was to delve into the challenges and opportunities associated with expanding Bangladesh’s economic activities to achieve structural transformation and meet the objective of becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2031. The dialogue shed light on Bangladesh’s remarkable economic performance with the country ranking among the ten fastest-growing economies worldwide over the past 15 years. This sustained growth acceleration translated into significant multidimensional poverty reduction.

“Life in poverty does not have to be perpetual; it can be changed in our own time,” said H.E. Ali, reflecting on the many advancements that Bangladesh has witnessed across key industries. Bolstered by the continuous support of the Bank over the decades, the nation’s multifaceted approach to combating poverty spans the increased availability of electricity, healthcare, education, and general infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. The session also addressed the role these achievements have played in empowering women in rural areas to pursue local micro-enterprises and participate in the mainstream economy.

With this in mind, Bangladesh has established itself as a key success story for both IsDB and the Global South. H.E. Ali also attributed these milestones to the hard work, dedication, and optimism of the nation’s youth, who today benefit from diverse opportunities to venture into new industries and areas of specialization.

This dialogue is part of IsDB’s commitment to fostering socio-economic development across its member countries, as it marks 50 years of transformative impact and partnership.