Feb 10, 2019
Bangladesh ahead of all, shows Spectator Index on per capita GDP growth
Bangladesh equalled China and India to log in the highest per capita economic growth globally in the last five years, according to The Spectator Index. The country's per capita growth was 45 percent in the past five years in terms of purchasing power parity, which is the same as neighbouring India and China, reported the index on its Twitter account recently. The index -- which is run by The Spectator, a weekly British magazine focused on politics, economics, history, military affairs, sports, science, and technology -- also compared Bangladesh's economy with that of Venezuela to show how much the South Asian nation has progressed over the years. In 1980, the size of Venezuela's economy was $117 billion in PPP terms compared to Bangladesh's $41 billion. In 2018, the gross domestic product of Venezuela stood at $330 billion, whereas it was $751 billion for Bangladesh.
During a visit to Bangladesh, Special Envoy of the UNHCR Angeline Jolie has highly appreciated Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina for sheltering huge number of Rohingyas in Bangladesh, calling her an example-setting leader in the world. Jolie said that leaders like Sheikh Hasina were very few in the world at this moment. She said that a huge number of Rohingyas had created serious burden for Bangladesh and it was a very tough task to manage such a big population in the shelter camps. Moreover, the Hollywood star has paid respect to Bangladesh’s founding father and said she is “deeply moved” by the visit to the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondhi 32.
Honourable Swiss President Ueli Maurer and British Prime Minister Theresa May have extended their heartfelt congratulations to Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina on her assumption of office as the prime minister for the fourth time. "In the name of the Swiss government, I would like to convey my congratulations to you on your recent appointment as Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh," the Swiss President said in his message to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. British Premier Theresa May in her message said: "I am writing to welcome your appointment as Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The UK and Bangladesh have an important relationship, exemplified by the 500,000 British-Bangladeshis in the UK."
Bangladesh has enjoyed an uptick in export earnings for the fifth straight month of the current fiscal year. Exports grew 14.39% to $24.18 billion in the first seven months of the current fiscal (July-January) over the same period a year earlier, riding on higher garment shipments, according to data released by the Export Promotion Bureau on Wednesday. This figure is 8% more than the target of $22.4 billion set for the period. Analysts, bankers and exporters are hoping export earnings will increase further in the coming months due to stable political environment after the general election.
EU to provide 205m euros for quality education
European Union will provide 205 million euros to Bangladesh for quality education and training for the next four years. The EU this week launched the Human Capital Development Programme for Bangladesh 2021, aiming to promote the implementation of long-term sustainable education policies towards a lifelong learning approach, bringing together primary, technical, and vocational education. A signing ceremony of a bilateral financing agreement between the European Union and Government of Bangladesh on HCDP-21 was held at Economic Relations Division (ERD) in Dhaka.
The government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement for a $50 million loan to promote microenterprise development for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. The assistance will help improve microenterprises' access to finance through Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF)—an apex development finance and capacity building organisation—and its partners. The project also introduces an innovative mobile-based microenterprise financing application on a pilot basis, and boosts forward linkages to agriculture, thus promoting rural growth and income and job opportunities.
Construction of the country's first underground railway may start in July with funds from Japan. Named MRT Line-1, this track will link the capital's airport and Kamalapur. It will also have an elevated part to connect Purbachal with Notun Bazar. The project deadline is 2026. The line will also link the proposed Terminal-3 of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport so passengers can travel to most parts of the country using the route. It will carry an estimated 14 lakh people a day. The MRT Line-1 is second among the five Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines to be built under state-owned Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd.
Garment export to non-traditional markets grew by 36.21% year-on-year to $2.90 billion in the current fiscal year's first six months because of a government stimulus package and duty-free market access. The receipt from the garment shipment in the same period last fiscal was $2.13 billion, according to data from Export Promotion Bureau and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). Apart from the traditional US, European Union and Canadian markets, all others are considered non-traditional or emerging markets for Bangladesh. Of those, 11 are performing stronger than others. Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey are the 11 stronger markets.
The rising income of middle-class people along with rapid socioeconomic development helped boost flower and foliage business in the country. The growing demand for flowers also helped the cultivators produce an all-time high of 3.2 billion pieces on a commercial basis in the last fiscal year (FY'18). According to a study carried out by state-run Hortex Foundation, annual turnover of the country's flower and foliage industry increased to $178 million in FY'18 from about $23 million a decade back.
Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander Ignatov has said Bangladesh and Russia are working on a package of documents, covering many issues, including economics, migration and energy to elevate the ties between the two countries to a new level. The ambassador said Russia is ready to develop economic cooperation with Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal. The ambassador said Russia is happy to note that the authorities of Bangladesh are actively dealing with the threat of terrorism. During the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Moscow in January 2013, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in counter-terrorism that is fully relevant nowadays.
China is set to grant duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) market access for all Bangladeshi products shortly, trade officials said. Except tobacco and maize, all the major Bangladeshi products like apparel, leather, jute and jute goods, medicine and frozen fish will be on the list. Bangladesh is going to get the facility under a Chinese zero-tariff treatment scheme for least developed countries (LDCs). To this end, Chinese ambassador in Dhaka Zhang Zuo and commerce secretary Mofizul Islam will sign a 'letter of exchange' soon.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) launched a pilot scheme aiming to create an online database of savings certificate holders. The programme has been taken up to check whether savings schemes are abused by exceeding investment limit or making 'benami' (fictitious) investments. Initially, the online database will be launched at the headquarters (HQs) of Bangladesh Bank, Bangladesh Post Office, Sonali Bank and Department of National Savings (DNS). After successful operation at the HQs, the online database programme will be extended to divisional and district level. The pilot scheme will run at the HQs for a three-month period.
The government planned to set up multimedia classrooms in 31,340 more schools while identical ICT facilities were installed by now in 32,667 educational institutions under different projects across the country. This (initiative) aims at ensuring more effective learning process making classes enjoyable. The government would simultaneously train 5,20,820 teachers at different level for conducting classes with modern technological facility. Out of the 32,667 multimedia classrooms installed, 23,331 were set up under secondary and higher secondary level education project through the ICT division. The government established 31 digital language laboratories under 'Establishment of Foreign Language Training Centre-2 Project' and provided language training to 25,000 trainees so far from those digital language laboratories.
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