May 11, 2018
Bangladesh blasts into space age as SpaceX propels Bangabandhu-1 to orbit
Bangladesh’s space age has dawned with the successful launch of Bangabandhu-1 satellite by SpaceX into orbit after 24 hours of high drama following an automatic abort on first attempt. The communications satellite rode into space on top of Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket that took off for its debut flight from NASA’s launchpad 39A at Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral at 2:14am on Saturday Bangladesh time. In an immediate reaction, Honorable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says Bangladesh has entered a ‘new era’ through the launch of its own satellite.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said it remains very optimistic about Bangladesh’s continuous growth but how the country will maintain the current political stability remains a big challenge, hoped ADB’s Director General of South Asia Regional Department Hun Kim. Bangladesh’s economy registered a record high growth rate of 7.3% in 2017 as higher farm and wage incomes lifted private consumption, according to the ADB Annual Report 2017. On the other hand, Bangladesh posts the strongest performance in the future trends measure of the Asia Power Index, notching the 9th place with a score of 5.2 while the lowest ranking occurs in the economic relationship measure -- in the 23rd place, according to findings released by the Australian think-tank Lowy Institute's index.
BRRI Hybrid-5, a hybrid rice variety developed by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), delivered a record yield of 10 tonnes per hectare. The maximum output from other hybrid varieties ranges from 8 to 8.5 tonnes per hectares. Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC), farmers and some non-government organisations witnessed this breakthrough from this hybrid rice variety developed in 2016. Farmers will be able to grow the new variety in 140-145 days, and its neck is hard enough to survive storms. Each paddy plant of this variety contains 12-15 bunches, which helps deliver higher yields.
Padma Bridge Rail Link: Khulna in four hours promised
The government is going to start constructing the Padma Bridge rail link in a month and 23 kilometres of the 215km rail lines would be elevated. Once the project is done, it will take just four hours to go to Khulna from the capital. The implementation of the project, expected in four years, would lead to the economic development of the country and the GDP would increase by 1%. Currently, it takes more than nine hours to make the distance of about 412km from Dhaka to Khulna. The minister said once the project is done, the distance would be reduced to 213km.
The government will build a 217-kilometre double rail line from Khulna to Darshana with an aim to boost trade activities with Nepal and Bhutan using the Mongla port. According to the planning ministry, after the rail line is set up through establishing rail connectivity with India, Nepal and Bhutan, the land-locked countries will have better access for trade. At present, a 43 kilometre new rail line is being set up from Khulna to Mongla port with Indian soft loan, on completion of which direct rail connectivity with Mongla will be established with the neighbouring countries alongside local routes.
Opening of three new bridges on the Shitalakkhya, Meghna and Gumti rivers will reduce bottlenecks on Dhaka-Chittagong highway early next year. Officials hope the four-lane bridges alongside the existing Kanchpur, Meghna and Meghna-Gumti bridges will bring an end to sufferings the passengers have been experiencing for years on the country's busiest highway. Officials believe the new bridges will be ready for use by next January or February as construction work has been accelerated.
As part of its ongoing efforts to increase power production, the government this week signed a joint venture agreement with China for installing a 1,320 MW coal-fired power plant at Moheshkhali in Cox's Bazar. According to media reports, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and China Huadian Hongkong Company Ltd (CHDHK) signed the agreement to form a new joint venture company within 30 days. Moheshkhali would be a power hub, as the government has been constructing Matarbari power plant along with other electricity establishments.
Nuclear energy experts said Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant would strengthen utilization of nuclear technology in social and sustainable economic development. It also will help to develop agriculture, industries, and medicine sectors and open new windows to hydrogen generation and water desalination opportunities. Bangladesh wishes to rely on nuclear energy that will produce up to 20% electricity in the long-term future. Russia was chosen as vendor country initially due to its offer to provide substantial funding support for the project.
A move is underway to bring the beneficiaries of social security and welfare programmes under a biometric identity-enabled payment system to help the country shift from cash to electronic payments. This interoperable payment system will also enable citizens, especially un-banked/under-banked people to receive payments from the government to persons (G2P) or persons to government (P2G) for essential services like registration, land records, taxes, and fees. The central bank will launch an interoperability system by June next to facilitate transactions between core banking solutions and mobile financial services.
At the directive of the HPM Sheikh Hasina, the government would rehabilitate 2,50,000 homeless families by 2019 through the Ashrayan-2 project. The Ashrayan-2 project has rehabilitated 40,290 landless families through constructing barrack, while 45,000 homeless families got allotment for setting up houses on their own land. The government would also build houses for 1,7,000 poor families on their land and 80,000 families would be brought under rehabilitation through barrack in order to improve their living conditions, education, health and earning opportunities. Envisaged and implemented by HPM, under this project, the government rehabilitated 47,210 homeless families from 1997 to 2002, while Ashrayan project (Phase-2) rehabilitated 58,703 families in 2010.
Remittance maintained its upward trend for the seventh month after inflows in April soared 21.10 percent to $1.32 billion, propelled by the depreciation of the taka against the US dollar. On April 30, the interbank exchange rate was $1.2. Remittance is a major source of foreign currency for Bangladesh and its descent since fiscal 2015-16 became a matter of concern for the government. Last fiscal year, the receipts were the lowest in six years. April's inflows, which are higher than the previous month's by 2%, take the current fiscal year's receipts so far to $13.27 billion, up 17.15% year-on-year.
Bangladeshi denim products are dominating the global markets by beating its competitors in the European markets as well as in the United States by occupying a lion’s share of the proverbial denim pie. As of now, Bangladesh is the largest exporter of denim products to Europe with a 27% market share topping China, the largest exporters of clothing products to both Europe and the US. With a 14.20% market share, Bangladesh now is also the third largest exporter of denim products in the US after Mexico and China.
Net inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from India to Bangladesh rose by 44.76 per cent in the past year, central bank statistics showed. The Bangladesh Bank data showed that the FDI from the neighbouring country in net terms stood at $114.65 million in 2017, which was $79.2 million in the previous year. This is the highest amount of FDI from India in a single year. Earlier in 2015, foreign investment from India crossed $100 million for the first time and reached $102.70 million.
Bangladesh Insight Archives
This email was sent by: Bangladesh Awami League
To unsubscribe click: here