Nepal and Bangladesh upgraded to Developing Country status – UPSC Prelims

  • The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution to include Bangladesh, Nepal and Laos in the list of developing countries from the category of the least developed countries.
  • Criteria to qualify in the developing country category:
    • Countries must meet at least two of the below criteria in order to qualify for inclusion in the developing countries’ category:
      • Per capita Gross National Income of $1,018 and above.
      • A high score of 60 on the Human Assets Index, which includes a health index and education index.
      • A low score of 36 on the Economic & Environmental Vulnerability Index.
  • Negative Implications:
    • Disruption in a country’s development: As an LDC, a country gets trade related concessions including market access, and development assistance, technical assistance and special pathways to participate in international processes.
    • But when such benefits are withdrawn suddenly on account of a country’s development from LDC to Developing country status, it could impact its growth.
  • Positive implications:
    • The inclusion of Nepal and Bangladesh as developing countries, plus the scheduled graduation of Bhutan in 2023, are all positive developments for the South Asian region.
    • The improvement in the economic and social prospects of the people of a country can benefit other nations, particularly those in its neighbourhood.
  • Transition Period:
    • Graduating countries such as Nepal and Bangladesh are given a transition period during which most of the benefits available to LDCs remain available to graduating countries.
    • Usually, the transition period is three years, but this time, in view of the economic, social and other disruptions caused by Covid-9, the UN General Assembly has taken the right step by giving five years.
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