Bangladesh has emerged as a "development surprise" in terms of GDP growth and socio-economic parameters.

When war-ravaged Bangladesh gained independence in 1971, and even into the 1980s, many observers doubted that it could survive as an independent state. But we have proven them wrong; and it's the resilience of the people of Bangladesh and a combination of our bold measures that have unleashed a growth trajectory and have taken us on the threshold of becoming a middle-income country. Vision 2021, the election manifesto of our party Awami League, that envisioned turning Bangladesh into a "Sonar Bangla" — Golden Bengal — as dreamed by the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, has now become a reality.

In 2005-2006, our per-capita income was just $543. This figure rose to $1,466 as of March this year. Bangladesh saw a sustained GDP growth of 6.3 percent during the last seven years and we expect that to be 7.05 percent this year. Its foreign currency reserve surged to over $29 billion from $3 billion in 2005-2006. Its poverty level fell from 56 percent in 1990 to 22.4 percent in 2015.