Mar 19, 2018
In a major leap forward, Bangladesh has become eligible to graduate to a developing country from a least developed one as it has met all the three criteria for the first time for getting out of the LDC bloc. The Committee for Development Policy (CDP), a United Nations panel, made an announcement on the country's eligibility at a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, Bangladesh's Permanent Representative to the UN Masud Bin Momen said this week. The three criteria are Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, Human Assets Index (HAI) and Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI). According to the UN's graduation threshold, the GNI per capita of a country has to be $1,230 or above. Bangladesh's GNI per capita is now $1,272.
Bangladesh has signed two memoranda of understanding on air service and public private partnership with Singapore. The deals were signed at the Istana, office of the Singapore president, in the presence of the Honourable prime ministers of both countries. The MoU on air services between Bangladesh and Singapore was signed by SM Ghulam Farooque, civil aviation secretary of Bangladesh, and Loh Ngai Seng, permanent secretary of Singapore's transport ministry. On the other hand, the Bangladesh Premier expressed hope that Singapore will continue providing decent working environment to Bangladeshi workers.
The Singapore government has named an orchid after Bangladesh HPM Sheikh Hasina, making her visit to the country a memorable one. This week, HPM unveiled the flower named "Dendrobium Sheikh Hasina" at the National Orchid Garden of Singapore Botanical Garden, a Unesco world heritage site. "Dendrobium Sheikh Hasina" is a strong and free flowering antelope, which produces upright inflorescences up to 25-cm long each bearing about 15 well-arranged flowers. Each flower measures about 5cm in width.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured Honourable President of Bangladesh M Abdul Hamid of extending all required assistance for repatriation of Rohingyas as he called on him on the sidelines of an international conference here. The Indian premier's comments came as Honourable President asked New Delhi to extend its hand for safe and dignified return of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to their homeland in Rakhine state. Indian HPM also appreciated Bangladesh for honouring the Indian citizens who contributed to the 1971 Liberation War.
Rohingya refugees from Myanmar continue to trickle into Bangladesh and are a heavy burden on a poor country, Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina said as she pressed Yangon to honour its promise to repatriate them. Asked if Bangladesh, where nearly one in four citizens lives below the national poverty line of US$2 (S$2.63) per day, was feeling the strain of the Rohingya influx, she replied: "Naturally. We are 160 million people, and a million people entered our country. We have to give them shelter, food, healthcare... everything." Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on a plan in January to repatriate the refugees within two years, but foot-dragging by Yangon has triggered anxiety in Dhaka.
The first ever Bangabandhu Chair, a Ph.D level doctoral fellowship, has been opened at Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok, Thailand this week. The "Bangabandhu Chair" is a Ph.D level doctoral fellowship endowed by HPM Sheikh Hasina to the AIT for research on the contemporary topic of 'Sustainable and Integrated Smart Energy Modelling' in the context of Bangladesh and other developing countries. The Chair has been named after the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to permanently preserve the country's founding father's footprints in Thailand.
Bangladesh has remained as a happier place than India and Sri Lanka, according to a global index of the happiest nations released recently this week. The report ranks countries by happiness levels based on six key factors: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity. In last two year's report, Bangladesh stayed ahead of a number of South Asian countries.
Owing to a raft of measurers under the able leadership of HPM Sheikh Hasina, over a stretch around 900 kilometers of river ways were dredged in the last seven years. This initiative coincides with the government's plan to ensure navigability level stays at a tolerable level alongside water transportation gets smooth.
Some 77 different power plants under both public and private sectors at various stages having 18,905 MW of generation capacity have now been under implementation. The present government during its tenure launched 88 power plants having 8,819 MW of generation capacity while some 30 power plants including 25 privately run ones having 5,092 MW generation capacity are now under tender floating stage. According to the power cell information, currently the power generation capacity reached to 16,046 MW and the highest generation was 9,507 MW against the demand.
Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) has kick-started the preparations for its third undersea cable link to meet the country's growing demand for data. The country's data consumption is growing at triple digits over the last few years and it will only accelerate with the rollout of 4G service. At present, Bangladesh's total bandwidth usage is about 565 Gbps, up from about 380 Gbps a year ago. Another reason for the new submarine cable is that the first one that linked up with the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable in 2006 is nearing the end of its 20-year lifespan in six years' time. It is not possible to increase its capacity much and its maintenance cost is increasing every year, said a top official of BSCCL.
Garment exports to non-traditional markets rose 3.77% year-on-year to $2.56 billion in the July-January period of the current fiscal year thanks to preferential trade benefit and fiscal incentive. Apparel shipments fetched $2.47 billion in the same period last fiscal year, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. In 2008, garment exports to the emerging markets stood at only $800 million. Since then it started climbing and rose five times to $3.90 billion in 2015-16.
The 2018 edition of ad:tech, a digital marketing and media event, has been held in New Delhi where AdPlay has joined as the first ever ad technology company from Bangladesh. The two-day conference was held on Mar 8-9, 2018 at the Leela Ambience Hotel in New Delhi with much fanfare. ad:tech 2018 delivered two days of lively discussions at the conference where global leaders from advertising, digital, technology, content and media publishing converged to discuss what's next in digital ad technology.
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