July 03, 2014
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Bangladesh is going through the process to graduate to a middle-income country from a developing nation owing to the attainment of remarkable progress in socio-economic development in last two decades. Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara said he was impressed by the authorities’ determination to transform Bangladesh into a middle-income country offering sustainable and equitable opportunities for all. The situation in Bangladesh is ‘far better’ for investment than in any earlier time.
The Asian Development Bank aims to finance infrastructure projects in Bangladesh that help boost regional cooperation according to Kazuhiko Higuchi, the ADB's newly appointed country director to Bangladesh. ADB has so far financed nine projects worth $816.77 million in Bangladesh under the SASEC programme since 2001. Recently, ADB has announced to provide Bangladesh with $255 million to build state of the art river bank protection measures to prevent land erosion, one of many large scale infrastructural projects in Bangladesh receiving ADB assistance.
In her first foreign trip abroad after assuming office of India’s Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj visited Bangladesh on a official tour. Apart from handing over the Indian Prime Minister’s invitation to Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina to visit India, Sushma expressed hope that the two countries would resolve all bilateral issues within the shortest time, including the Teesta river water sharing and land boundary deals between Bangladesh and India. India has already agreed to provide five-year multiple entry visas for under-13 and 65 plus Bangladeshis.
The last four years has seen a dramatic change in economic ties between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded US$ 100 million for the first time in 2013 compared to a level of US$ 47 million in 2010. This dramatic rise was due to Sri Lankan exports to Bangladesh more than doubling from US$ 34 million in 2010 to US$ 82 million in 2013 and Bangladeshi exports to Sri Lanka doubling from US$ 13 million to US$ 26 million for the same period.
China wants Bangladesh to be a member of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The supranational bank is expected to be launched at the end of this year to finance big infrastructure projects of Asian countries. Of the US$100 billion capital of the proposed AIIB, China will contribute $50 billion and the rest of the members will contribute the remaining amount.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will organise a three-day fair in Paris, France in September this year to showcase Bangladeshi apparel products to the European buyers. Bangladesh will have 100 participatory stalls, of which 37 have already confirmed their participation.
The government is going to set up a 60MW solar power project at Raozan in Chittagong. Once implemented, the government will purchase electricity from this private sector ‘solar park. This will be the country’s largest ever single solar project with the highest capacity. Bangladesh has also seen the fastest penetration rate in the world for solar home systems, as the country installs more than 70,000 such units every month. Owing to the success of the programme, World Bank has pledged a further $78.4 million to support the programme. Bangladesh has installed more than 3.1 million solar home systems till May this year. The total installed capacity of these solar home systems is around 140MW, sufficient to provide clean electricity to 14 million rural people.
Bangladesh is going to set up up a specialized bank to facilitate savings and transactions of the earnings of the rural poor and under privileged people. To that end, recently the Palli Shanchay Bank Bill report was placed in parliament. As per the bill, the new bank will be set up to give the activities of the government's "One House, One Farm" project an institutional shape along with facilitating savings and transactions of the money to be earned by the poor and under-privileged people living in rural areas.
The government will implement a project at a cost of Taka 114 crore aimed at making the unemployed women self-reliant through training. Under the project named 'Empowerment of Women through Technology Transfer", training will be given to the poor and unemployed women of every upazila. Women’s education has already contributed significantly in cutting down maternal mortality rate to astonishing lows compared to other developing countries including India. At the current rate of (MMR) reduction, Bangladesh is well on its way to reaching the MDG 5 target of 143 per 100,000 live births this year — a year ahead of schedule.
Bangladesh Awami League