May 01, 2018
HPM Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Australia takes bilateral ties to a new height
Bangladesh and Australia have scripted a new chapter in bilateral ties with the two prime ministers agreed to cooperate in fresh areas in the years to come. Last week saw, Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina make a visit to Australia, overseeing rising consensus on an array of issues. Australian HPM Malcom Turnbull assured his Bangladeshi counterpart of continuing support to Bangladesh for resolving the Rohingya crisis, saying his country would continue to put pressure on Myanmar for taking back Rohingyas. The two leaders discussed issues of bilateral trade and investment and agreed to find viable means to boost cooperation.
Another feather adds to HPM Sheikh Hasina's crown as she received the Global Women's Leadership Award today for her outstanding leadership in women's education and entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, raising her total accolades to 33. The US-based Global Summit of Women conferred the prestigious accolade on Sheikh Hasina at a gala dinner of the organization in Sydney, Australia this evening. The Bangladesh prime minister received the award from Global Summit of Women President Irene Natividad amid thunderous clapping of nearly 1500 women leaders from across the globe who joined the summit.
HPM Sheikh Hasina has featured on the Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2018. She has been put on the list due to her “humanitarian role under difficult circumstances in sheltering more than a million forcibly displaced Rohingyas who fled violence in their homeland in Myanmar”. TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people is a designation of individuals whose time, in its view, is now. Writing on HPM, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch Meenakshi Ganguly said, “Bearing the legacy of her father, who led Bangladesh’s liberation war, Hasina has never been afraid of a fight.”
A series of focus group discussions (FGDs) conducted by the Washington-based International Republican Institute (IRI) over the summer of 2017 confirms that HPM Sheikh Hasina and her party Bangladesh Awami League remain more popular than their rivals Khaleda Zia and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). According to the report on the FGDs, which was made public on their website, most participants expressed a positive view of the Awami League and its leader, HPM Sheikh Hasina, strongly associating her and the party with the country’s independence movement and current development. According to IRI, the FGDs suggest that the Awami League’s incumbent government is in a strong political position entering the 2018 election cycle because of its development achievements and the popularity of its leader.
Government plans another metro rail from Airport to Kamalapur via Purbachal
After the country's first metro rail from Uttara to Motijheel, now under implementation, the government is planning to construct another metro rail from Airport to Kamalapur linking Purbachal to make the city's road transport system more safe, modern and environment-friendly. the feasibility study for the project has already been completed where the route has been proposed at Airport-Khilkhet-Natun Bazar-Badda-Malibagh-Kamalapur while another route would go to Jamuna Future Park-Bashundhara-Purbachal. The main project operations include consultation services for system design of the 27-kilometer route as a consulting firm will be appointed by the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited to conduct the operations of detailed engineering design tender assistance.
Bangladesh has sent 2,49,528 workers overseas with employments and received USD $ 4,530.46 million as remittance till April 13 this year that contributed significantly in the socio-economic advancement of the nation. the government has already set up many training centers in different districts along with launching other skill development programmes to make job seekers skill. According to data in the ministry, the government has installed 70 training centres in different districts of the country to turn the manpower into skilled and semi-skilled forces. It said the present government has sent Bangladeshi workers to 169 countries as a result of its successful labour diplomacy under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and efforts underway to explore new labour markets all over the globe.
The government will bring 400,000 more people under the old age allowance programme in the Social Safety Net scheme in next fiscal year (2016-19). The government is providing 3.5 million elderly people with $237 million under the Social Safety Net programme while 400,000 more people will be brought under the programme in the next fiscal year. Every senior citizen is getting US$ 5 per month under the programme and the number of the beneficiaries is increasing every year.
The government has taken an initiative to set up 4,500 more community clinics across the country soon to reach healthcare services to the doorsteps of all people. More than 13,500 community clinics on the basis of one for every 6000 persons have already been set up in the rural areas of the country to facilitate the countrymen with healthcare services. After assuming the office in 1996 for the first time, HPM Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the first community clinic at Patgati of Tungipara in Gopalganj district in 1998.
International inspection agencies said safety conditions in the country's $30 billion garment industry have improved dramatically since the Rana Plaza disaster, thanks to efforts by entrepreneurs, retailers and brands. In the aftermath of that disaster, local garment entrepreneurs put more than $1billion to remediate the factories for preventing such tragedies in future. As per the recommendations of the inspection agencies, three bodies, including Accord, Alliance and National Initiative, were formed to fix three kinds of “loopholes” relating to the structural, fire and electrical issues. Accord currently has approximately 1,625 covered supplier factories. Some 88,443 safety hazards, in total, were identified in Accord's initial inspections of these factories. Some 74,386 of these safety hazards have been fixed.
Bangladesh is still a lucrative destination for sourcing low-cost garment items, coming second to only China, according to the Global Sourcing Survey-2018 by the AsiaInspection, which provides inspection services to global brands. Some 36% respondents said they will source food items from Bangladesh, while 15% will buy electrical and electronics products from here, the survey said. Bangladesh is a favoured destination not only for the competitive price and quality, but also for technical upgrades and improved safety after the inspection and remediation.
Bangladesh will sign an agreement with Cambodia at the end of June to increase bilateral trade in the run up to HPM Sheikh Hasina’s visit last year in that country. Cambodia can import medicines, leather products and jute goods from Bangladesh. An agreement and nine memoranda of understanding were signed to boost bilateral trade during that visit. The MoUs were signed for cooperation in tourism, information and communication technology, institutional cooperation under the joint trade council and collaboration in implementation of sustainable development goals.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded the “bold and courageous” leadership of his Bangladesh counterpart HPM Sheikh Hasina for Bangladesh’s remarkable success in socio-economic development. Referring to Bangladesh’s role in providing shelter to the forcibly displaced people from Myanmar, the Indian Premier said his country supported Bangladesh’s position on the issue and wanted an early resolution to the problem. On the other hand, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also highly appreciated Sheikh Hasina for her outstanding leadership in handling the protracted Rohingya crisis.
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