Nov 10, 2017
The 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference or CPC was held in Dhaka this week with participation of around 550 foreign delegates including speakers, deputy speakers, and MPs of 180 national and state parliaments of 52 countries. Inaugurated by Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the event saw participants from the Commonwealth countries urged the international community to come up with urgent actions to resolve the humanitarian crisis facing by Rohingya people. In a statement, the CPA condemned the atrocities, ethnic cleansing, displacement and all gross violations of human rights in the Rakhine State of Myanmar.
Bangladesh has topped the South Asian countries in gender equality for the third consecutive year, ranking 47th among 144 nations. It has also moved 25 notches up in the Global Gender Gap Report 2017 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The country was at the 72nd position among the same number of countries in last year's index. It was ranked 64th among 145 nations in 2015. Bangladesh, according to the report, has made progress across all dimensions of the economic opportunity and participation, secures the third spot among the lower-middle income countries.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said Bangladesh is the champion against climate vulnerabilities. This was stated during his discussion with Bangladesh delegation to Amsterdam International Water Week. During the discussion, Bangladesh has urged its international partners, especially the member countries of the UN High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) and that of the Delta Coalition, to strengthen global cooperation on water and delta-related issues. The Dutch Primer acknowledged his close acquaintance with Sheikh Hasina's sincerity, commitment, and integrated actions in various social development activities in Bangladesh, reiterating his assurance to continue Dutch government's support to Bangladesh.
The newly appointed Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Bangladesh, Mia Seppo lauded the government for its stellar performance in poverty reduction and women’s empowerment. The UN diplomat also pledged to work closely with the government in all of its development efforts, particularly in fulfilling the targets of Sustainable Development Goals as well as towards graduation of Bangladesh from LDC to middle income country. Over the space of last six years, the country, under the prudent leadership of HPM Sheikh Hasina has marked a significant progress in poverty reduction and eliminating hunger.
Envisaged by and implemented under the prudent leadership of HPM Sheikh Hasina, the much talked about one house one firm projects has seen over 15 million poor people lift out of the clutches of poverty and become self-reliant across the country. Under the project, a total of 62,400 'Village Development Associations' (VDAs) have been formed country wide from which about 3.61 million families are getting benefits and their yearly income has increased by about $131 on the average. The goal of the project is poverty alleviation through e-financial inclusion, including fund mobilization, followed by family farming livelihood and income generation of the under privileged and smallholders of the country.
The World Bank (WB) will provide credit worth US$ 457 million for financing two projects in Bangladesh to help develop private sector-led infrastructure and diversify exports. Of the loan, $357 million will be available for 'Investment Promotion and Financing Facility Project II (IPFF II)' for improving the capacity of local financial institutions. Besides, the WB will provide $100 million for 'Export Competitiveness for Jobs Project', which will help create 90,000 more jobs by focusing beyond the readymade garment sector and diversifying exports in other labor-intensive sectors like leather goods, footwear, plastics, and light engineering.
Construction of the railway bridge on the Rupsha River and Mongla-Khulna railway line is going on in full swing. According to media reports, piling is going on in full swing, and construction of 142 pillars will begin in January, 2018. A total of 6 km construction has been completed from Khulna side while at least 23 km construction from Mongla side out of its total 65 km Railway Line. Earlier, land requisition, survey, soil test and mud digging are completed and construction of Railway Bridge on Rupsha River is continuing.
Bangladesh is set to get 3,600 megawatts of electricity from a LNG-based power plant at Payra, the largest yet, as part of the government's efforts to give the economy the impetus needed to meet the growth aspirations. North-West Power Generation Co., an enterprise of Bangladesh Power Development Board, and Siemens yesterday signed a primary agreement for setting up the plant in Patuakhali. The estimated cost for the plant is $2.8 billion, of which $2.4 billion would come as loan and $400 million as equity, according to media reports. A total of three power units will be set up under the joint venture while the first two will go into operation in 2020 and the last one in 2021.
In September of 2010, Bangladesh Bank instructed public banks to help the ultra-poor open the U$. 12 accounts so that they can get the benefits of the safety net programmes. Private commercial banks later followed suit of their state-owned peers. The use of the account has helped underprivileged people engage in various economic activities and change their lives. The marginal and landless farmers, small shop owners, hawkers and people affected by river erosion now take loans under a $23 million refinance scheme of the central bank by using the accounts for an interest rate of 9.5%.
Street children are progressively taking to the idea of keeping their hard-earned income in a bank, with the deposits in their accounts soaring more than 20% in the past year or so. As of June, the accounts held by street children had balance worth $31,000, up from $25,194 a year earlier, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank. The total number of accounts held by street children expanded 25.97% during the period to 4,365. On the other hand, the central bank has recently taken some initiatives to give a boost to the programme and brought more street children under banking services.
The government has released the second installment of cash incentives amounting to $134 million among major exporters for the fiscal year 2017-18. Of the second tranche, the jute and jute product sub-sector will get $14 million while the rest amount will be shared by other sectors. At present, a total of 27 export sectors are receiving cash incentives. The sectors that are enjoying the cash subsidies include apparel manufacturing, frozen foods and fish, leather products, finished leather, agro-based products, and agro-processing.
Foreign investment in stocks doubled year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2017 as overseas investors continue to show their trust in the market. Net position of foreign portfolio with the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) stood at $191 million in January-October, compared to $ 9 million in the same period a year ago. The steadily growing economy and matured market behaviour have been attributed to the growing interest among foreign individuals and institutions in investing in Bangladesh's stockmarket.
The United States praised Bangladesh as an anchor for stability and prosperity in the region, and the government’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon has said. After the sixth partnership dialogue, the envoy said as this dialogue demonstrates, the United States and Bangladesh collaborate on many important issues and share a long history of cooperation and a vision for a tolerant Bangladesh that serves as a bridge for commerce between South and Southeast Asia.
Bangladesh has expressed deep concern at the reported ballistic missile attack by the Houthi rebels, targeting the King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh. The attack was successfully intercepted by the Saudi air-defence forces. Bangladesh condemns such attacks that threaten the safety and security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Bangladesh reiterates its commitment to stand by the government and the people of the Kingdom, which is the land of the two holy mosques.
Local mobile software developers can now get a slice of the lucrative Android app market after Google allowed merchant registration from Bangladesh for its Play Store. Google Play Store is the official app store for the Android operating system, the most used mobile operating system globally. Until now, local developers could only offer their apps for free on the Google Play Store, making do with only the revenue generated from the ads baked into their apps. But thanks to Google's move, they can now register paid apps on the Play store and in so doing, better monetise their efforts.
Bangladesh will showcase its achievements in the ICT sector at the Digital World 2017 exhibition. The multi-facet expo will be providing a platform to establish network with the local and regional or global IT-ITES industry leaders and experts with a view to share their best practices and experiences. More than 200 spokespersons from top IT organisations including Google and Nuans will take part in different sessions of the exposition. The exhibition this year will be composed of expositions and elements like e-Governance Expo, Software Showcasing, more than 300 stalls and pavilions for IT Exposition, more than 24 seminars, conferences and policy dialogues, ICT Career Camp which will occupy various zones.
Bangladesh Insight Archives
This email was sent by: Bangladesh Awami League
To unsubscribe click: here