April 30, 2014
Commonwealth lauds political stability of Bangladesh
The Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma welcomed the stabilized political atmosphere in Bangladesh. He came up with the observation during his call on the Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, MP in London on April 25. Moreover, Lord Tariq Ahmad, Government Whip and Spokesperson at the House of Lords commended the decisive role of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in promoting secular democracy, economic progress and women’s empowerment.
Growth and development
According to a global credit research report Bangladesh’s underlying credit strengths reflect a healthy outlook for economic growth, limited vulnerability to fiscal and external funding stress and steady progress on policy (fiscal) reform. Despite political turmoil and uncertainty which prevailed before January 05, 2014 election, Bangladesh is doing well in maintaining steady GDP growth, rising export, maintaining a moderate trend of debt-to-GDP ratio.
Bangladesh government has a plan to set up solar-based power plants in the country to meet growing demand of electricity. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said this when Austrian Ambassador to Bangladesh Bernhard Wrabetz met her at her office in the morning on April 24.
Cabinet of the people’s republic of Bangladesh has approved the draft of Metro Rail Act, 2014 in order to constitute a company for the operation and management of metro rail in the capital.
The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the arm of World Bank which promotes foreign direct investment, expressed its interest to invest in Bangladesh's large infrastructure projects. Keiko Honda, executive vice-president of MIGA, assured Bangladesh’s Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on April 27 that MIGA would bring $250 million private investment for the country’s power sector in the next 12 month.
Social justice and equity
Saima Wazed Hossain, chairperson of ‘Global Autism’, a public health initiative of autism in Bangladesh, urged Asian nations to develop culturally sensitive tools to manage growing cases of neuro-development disorders. In an international seminar on autism arranged in Malaysia, she emphasized on concerted efforts to develop diagnostic and management tools consistent with Asian culture. She has been working for last few years to raise awareness regarding autism.
Bangladesh has committed its full support to eliminate sexual violence by joining the ‘Global Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict’ on April 27. The global forum was formed on 24 September 2013 during the 68th UN General Assembly. Bangladesh is a signatory of Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) from November 06, 1984.
Bangladesh on the international stage
‘Subir and Malini Chowdhury Centre for Bangladesh’ is being launched at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, to diminish the negative propaganda against Bangladesh. The centre may unfold itself as a   knowledge centre on Bangladeshi histories, culture, science, business and others. Bangladesh, an emerging South Asian country of over 160 million people, has a lot to offer to the rest of the world.
US President Barack Obama announced to appoint Nina Ahmed as the first Bangladeshi to his 14-member advisory commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Dr Ahmed leads organizations like JNA Capital, Inc. and APA for Progress.
One year after Rana Plaza: Progress and the way forward
In a jointly organized discussion (by the labour ministry of BD and the   ILO), titled ‘One Year after Rana Plaza: Progress and Way Forward’, international agencies and representatives of various nations have admired the improvements in the readymade garments sector made in the year since the Rana Plaza disaster, and expressed their anticipation that Bangladesh would be on right track to achieve a strong, dynamic, profitable garment industry.
The European Union has found “significant progress” being made in factory safety and labour rights within a year of Bangladesh’s worst-ever building collapse. John Clancy, spokesperson of EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht praises the endeavors of Bangladesh in improving the quality of factory safety and labour right issues and expects more to be done to sustain the progress.
The Dutch Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen expressed her pleasure to see the huge steps taken in the last one year to improve working conditions in Bangladesh’s massive RMG sector. She also said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina “did the right thing to press ahead with necessary reforms” in the clothing sector to improve labour rights and safety.
Bangladesh Awami League