Participation of private sector could play a vital role in adopting sustainable development goals as the sector contributes 78 per cent to the country’s development activities, speakers said in a panel discussion jointly organised by Grameenphone and its parent company, Telenor Group, on Monday in the city.
The discussion titled ‘Partnering for Reduced Inequalities : How business can contribute to the UN SDGs’ was organised as part of the leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone’s Sustainability Week programme.
Telenor Group, the parent company of GP, chief executive officer and president Sigve Brekke inaugurated the programme during his visit in Dhaka last week to build awareness regarding company’s sustainability initiatives among the employees and the stakeholders.
Speaking at the discussion, UNDP Bangladesh project advisor and SDG lead Fakrul Ahsan said, ‘Private sector is doing 78 per cent of the development work in Bangladesh, so it is impossible to ignore private sector in attaining SDG goals.’
‘UNDP has created a platform to bring both public and private sector together, so they can discuss their needs and adjust the policies that required for further development of the country,’ he added.
UNICEF Bangladesh programme manager and coordinator Thomas George said that the whole Bangladesh was not progressing at the same pace.
He also recommended that SDGs should be adopted according to local needs.
Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rupali Chowdhury said, ‘Bringing more FDI and creation of job is the core of development in Bangladesh.’
‘We have many success stories which need to be told and the local and foreign investors in this country can tell these stories to attract more investment,’ she said.
She suggested that the government should be more transparent while dealing with the investors and the policies need to be more consistent, otherwise, the country would not be able to attract the needed investment.
Identifying that the needs of the private sector is important for development, BRAC senior director (strategy, communication and empowerment) Asif Saleh said that BRAC has been working to create skills that are needed for future development.
D-Net Bangladesh chief executive officer Ananya Raihan said, ‘resource allocation should be more streamlined and private entrepreneurs should have better access to government resources so that they can participate in the development process.’
Grameenphone chief execuritive ofcier Michael Foley said, ‘As a technology company we need to create more opportunities for people and entrepreneurs to face the new realities of the market. There is no point in being a large service provider when people don’t have work.’
Welcoming the private-public collaboration, Access to Information Programme policy adviser Anir Chowdhury, suggested that participation of private sector could bring more accountability to development activities.
‘Private sector works for a return on investment so they are more efficient and vigilant about resources than government,’ he said.
Expressing that digitalization could bring more efficiency in service delivery, he said that the government has been working to deliver services to the citizen digitally, but now the government will open digital service windows for the businesses, which will reduce bureaucracy.
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