Jan 04, 2018 | Issue 181


Bangladesh embraces New Year 2018 with renewed hopes

Bangladesh has welcomed the New Year 2018 along with other countries across the world with renewed hopes that the new-year will open doors for new possibilities. Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the countrymen on the occasions, wishing all happiness and welfare in the new year. In her message, she said Bangladesh had achieved lower middle-income status, one of the top positions in economic indicators, emerging out as a role model of development in the world.

HPM Sheikh Hasina: A leader with courage, vision, humanity; 2017 in flashback

Despite many challenges, the just ended year 2017 was very special for Bangladesh, especially for piles of honour and praises showered on HPM Sheikh Hasina from all over the world. She opened up the Bangladesh border to the streams of Rohingyas while many countries, big or small, rather decided to shut them off for refugees. Her decision was a rare example of humanity and reflected the Bangladesh Premier’s deep concern for welfare of the homeless, wretched people coming into her country as refugees. In the year 2017, she received a series of international accolades.

Country shines with big successes in 2017

Bangladesh has achieved many big successes and achievements in different sectors in 2017, outshining many countries of the world. Experts say Bangladesh is progressing towards a developed nation as different types of development are taking place in the Asian country. On the economic front, the annual average growth rate rose to a record high of 7.28% in the 2016-17 fiscal year while the per-capita income increased to $1610. On the other hand, the country has finally entered the nuclear era in 2017, with the Premier opening up the main construction work of the much-awaited Rooppur nuclear power plant. Moreover,Bangladesh hosted successfully the 63rd annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in November in attendance of over 550 delegates from different countries.

Dhaka thrives in diplomacy in 2017

Bangladesh saw some significant achievements in its diplomatic front in the outgoing year thanks to its time-befitting and calculated moves on different local and global issues. With its diplomatic efforts, Dhaka earned recognition for the historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the world’s documentary heritage from the UNESCO. In 2017, Bangladesh has also set a milestone in global peace-building by sending two women pilots and one woman physician to the UN peace-building mission for the first time.

Banking sector performs better in 2017

The overall situation in the banking sector in the outgoing year 2017 was good as the central bank strictly maintained its supervision activities and took several steps against irregularities of some commercial banks. In the outgoing year, the banks' default loans increased due to the indiscipline in the lending by the some commercial banks. In this regard, BB took actions against some commercial banks, including Farmers Bank Limited and NRB Commercial Bank, and removed top executives of the banks' boards. School banking is getting huge response among the students across the country as deposits with the banking accounts have crossed $144 million at the end of September 2017. Over 13 million accounts have been opened under the school banking till September this year.

2017: RMG on growth trajectory

The country’s largest export earning sector, ready-made garment (RMG), continued its positive growth in the just concluded year although it marginally failed to achieve the export target in last fiscal year (2016-17). Exports from the sector also reached US$ 12 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal with a growth rate of 7.46%. According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh exported garment items worth about $26.40 billion during the last 11 months till November last year (2017) registering a growth of 1.38%.

Agriculture flourishing despite challenges in 2017

Bangladesh has made significant progress in agriculture over the past 46 years to achieve food security despite frequent natural disasters, population growth and shrinking of agricultural land. Bangladesh has tripled its rice production since the independence, from 10 million tonnes in 1971 to over 34 million tonnes now. On the other hand, Bangladesh is now the world’s fourth largest producer of rice after China, India and Indonesia. Moreover, the achievement in food self-sufficiency has been a major milestone for the country. Steady progress with diversification in favour of fish, meat and vegetable production has also contributed to the nutritional improvement.

1,337MW electricity added to national grid in 2017

The country's installed power generation capacity increased by 1,337 megawatts in the last one year from December 30, 2016 to December 30, 2017. According to state-owned Power Development Board (PDB), the installed capacity rose to 13,701MW from 12,364MW during the period, while the number of power plants increased to 112 from 108. Moreover, a total of 11,104 megawatts (MW) of power have been added to the national grid in the last nine years, providing 83% of the country’s total population access to electricity.

Remittance inflow crosses $13,000m in 2017

The inflow of remittance has crossed US$13,000 million in the just-concluded 2017 as the flow has been increased during the last couple of months. According to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) latest data, expatriate Bangladeshis have sent $6,935.72 million during July to December period in 2017 and $6,602.60 million in the first six months of the year. The total amount of the remittance inflow was $13,538.32 million during the 2017. According to experts, due to steps taken by the central bank, the inflow of remittance in the last couple of months in the outgoing year showed an upward trend prompting the non-residence Bangladeshis (NRBs) to send money through the legal channels.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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