Aug 18, 2016
The United Nations hopes Bangladesh would emerge as a leader in the sustainable development goals, repeating its success in pulling off the millennium development goals. According to Nagesh Kumar, head of UN-ESCAP South and South-West Asia Office, Bangladesh would again lead the way in achieving the SDGs under the prudent and able leadership of HPM Sheikh Hasina. The comments were made at a seminar styled “Achieving sustainable development goals: key policy priorities and implementation challenges for South Asia and Bangladesh”.
Bangladesh’s net foreign direct investment (FDI) in a financial year has crossed the $2 billion mark for the first time in the history. According to the latest balance of payment (BOP) figures released by Bangladesh Bank, net FDIs in the last FY 2015-16 stood at $2.001 billion, up by 9.34% from the previous fiscal. The sectors that attracted foreign investors the most were gas and petroleum, textiles, banking, telecoms, power, food, cement, leather and leather goods. Analysts attributed the rise to mega infrastructure projects like the Padma Bridge by the Bangladesh government.
Bangladesh has fared better than most of the South Asian Countries in the Global Innovation Index (GII). Resealed by Cornell University, INSEAD and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the report strongly extoled some strength of Bangladesh regarding innovation, which include - industrial design in origin, cluster development, microfinance and gross capital formation.
Bangladeshi migrant jobseekers now won't have to pay private recruiting agencies to get work visas for Saudi Arabia. The kingdom, Bangladesh's largest overseas labour market, made the announcement after it lifted a seven-year ban on recruitment of Bangladeshi male workers. Now that the workers won't need to pay any money to recruiting agencies for obtaining work visas as the Saudi employers will bear all the costs, including air fares and service charges payable to recruiting agents.
Given that the project has been fast tracked under the supervision of the HPM Sheikh Hasina, about 37% of the construction work of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge has been completed. Twenty seven piles have already been set up on the bed of the mighty river. Works are underway to construct a tourism centre like Hong Kong city and an international airport there was well. The biggest infrastructure undertaking till date, this bridge will connect the entire Southern part of the country with the capital, ushering in a dawn in the lives of people in that region.
The inauguration of Payra seaport by HPM signals a stepped-up effort by the government to provide the country with much needed infrastructure. The third commercial seaport of the country, it is one of the ten mega projects fact-tracked and prioritised by the government to meet the country's development challenges. It will boost the country's exports and imports by connecting it to the hinterland through river routes, create thousands of jobs, and turbocharge the economy of the southern districts.
A new agreement has been struck to appoint a German firm as a consultant for conducting a feasibility study for construction of Bay Terminal in Chittagong. To be conducted at a cost of $10 million, the study will be completed within next nine months. This proposed 'Bay Terminal' to be built on an area of 900 acres would allow big ships, which now cannot anchor at the Chittagong Port, to berth for carrying out shipment activities.
The government has stepped up its efforts to build the country's first intra-country pipeline to send petroleum products from port city of Chittagong to capital Dhaka in a safer and cheaper way. The pipeline would be of around 250-270 kilometre in length and would carry initially the country's mostly consumed petroleum product - diesel --from the BPC's Chittagong tank terminal to Godnail tank terminal in Narayanganj. The pipeline would be built to carry around 3.0 million tonnes of diesel annually from Chittagong port to Dhaka.
In accordance with the electoral promise for ensuring electricity for all by 2021, the government has put in place a scheme to ensure that 95% of the rural people will gain access to electricity by 2018. An array of measures, as envisaged and implemented by the present government, has resulted in an unprecedented level of electricity power generation, bringing in 76% people under the coverage. This accomplishment stood out as a testament to the government’s commitment to transform Bangladesh into a middle income nation by 2021.
Preparation is at the final stage to form a company to generate electricity from waste. Styled Waste Power Generation Company (WPGC), the venture aims to generate green energy. In 2013, an Italian firm, Management Environment Finance SEL Ltd, signed an agreement with the Local Government Division, Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation to build two 50 megawatt power plants. City corporations will be responsible for the waste management while PDB will generate electricity. The government would pay nearly $900 million in 20 years for the plants.
According to a recent report revealed by World Health Organization (WHO), Bangladesh now turned into as a model in South Asia as regards maximising childhood tuberculosis detection. In a space of last two years, the country has successfully detected 3,000 new cases. To this end, the country is changing the way the world treats the dangerous form of tuberculosis as the country’s own research has received WHO approval.
An amount worth US$ 3.8 million will be distributed among youths as loan for their self-employment. The loan will be distributed among 7,100 youths who received training from the Department of Youth Development across the country under a youth self-employment programme. During last six years, the government has attached its top most priority to harness the potential of the youth demography and provided a significant number of youths with income generating training skills.
Bangladesh is emerging as a hybrid seed exporting country with the entrepreneurs in the sector expecting that it will once become a hub of international seed market. According to producers, 7.9 tonnes of hybrid vegetable seeds worth $ 447,612 were exported in the last calendar year against 7.6 tonnes of seeds valued at $ 384,672 in the previous year. As of August 10 in the current year, 3.96 tonnes of vegetable seeds worth $ 301,960 were shipped to the overseas market.
Trade deficit in the current fiscal year has come down by 10% against the previous year, making it the lowest in six years. It stood at $6.27 billion, down from $6.96 billion in 2014-15. A strong economic management policy and the export earnings also experienced a substantial hike, which also contributed to low trade deficit. In this year, the export earnings rose by 9% at $33.44 billion.
The government is set to bring in major changes to the incentive structure for exports to achieve the higher growth target set for this fiscal year. The export target for fiscal 2016-17 is $37 billion, up 8% from last fiscal year's receipts. In the new structure, a 5% incentive is likely to be extended for exports of finished leather, while subsidy will be given to exports of two new commodities: paper and incense sticks.
Bangladesh Awami League Bangladesh Insight Archives