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Chief Representative's Speech

January 24, 2015

Opening Ceremony of Training Program for National Integrity Strategy Support Project
(24/Jan/2015 @ BCSAA, Dhaka)

Honorable Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan,
Dr. Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration,
Mr. Md Nazrul Islam, Secretary in charge, Cabinet Division,
Mr. Md Sohorab Hossain, Secretary in charge and Rector of Bangladesh Civil Service Administration Academy,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen.

Assalam alaikum and good morinig.

It is indeed a great pleasure for me to attend the opening ceremony of the training program for the National Integrity Strategy Support Project jointly organized by the Cabinet Division and JICA.

Bangladesh's achievement in the area of economic growth, exports of readymade garments, remittances, food self-sufficiency and Millennium Development Goals is remarkable. The average GDP growth of 6% has reduced the poverty population under the country's poverty line from 50% in the year of 2000 to 30%. Bangladesh has also made great strides in primary school enrollment, educational gender equality and infant mortality.

There are still some bottlenecks which stand in the way toward faster advancement. Inadequate infrastructure is one. Not-good-enough governance is another. To be sure, governance matters to hold the government accountable to the electorate and achieve an effective and efficient use of resources in meeting people's needs. Then, why does governance matter to economic growth?

It does because good governance is a prerequisite to promote private investment. Bangladesh needs to encourage private investment including foreign direct investment to increase from the current level of 20% of GDP to that of 30% in order to achieve more than six-percent growth trajectory which will enable her to become a middle-income country by 2021. To attract investors who are by nature of long-term perspective, the host government has to demonstrate how well it governs, proving that it is predictable, transparent and accountable. Trust in government nurtured by good governance is really an intangible social asset necessary for vibrant economic activities.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Cabinet approved the National Integrity Strategy, or NIS for short, in November 2012. It is a declaration by the Government of Bangladesh to seek better governance for further socio-economic development of the nation. The major objective of NIS is to promote good governance, prevent corruption and ensure the highest integrity in all affairs of the state and society.

It can be arguable who should start practicing NIS among diverse members of the society. I firmly believe it should be public servants who take the initiative and set a good example for others by strictly maintaining integrity in providing services to the citizen or in procurement of goods and services. This will have a triggering effect on all strata of the society. And that is why JICA, as a time-tested development partner to Bangladesh, decided to extend a technical cooperation to the Cabinet Division, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and other concerned ministries to get NIS to take firm hold in the government.

The NIS Support Project kick-started in October 2014 aiming at establishing a framework for effective implementation of NIS. The framework is to enhance the capacity of the Cabinet Division to manage the implementation of NIS and the function of ACC to prevent corruption as well. The NIS training program is a vital part of the framework to assist officials concerned to develop required abilities.

It is indeed a challenging uphill task but I am confident that, by encouraging firmly committed focal-point officials, it is possible to spread faithful, pro-citizen public services across the country and finally establish laudable governance in the society as a whole. I heartily wish you all to achieve transformative results through this project.

Apnader Shabaike Dhannabad. Thank you very much.

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