April 28, 2019 | Issue 217


HPM Sheikh Hasina’s Brunei visit forges stronger bilateral ties

During a recent visit to Brunei, Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has overseen as many as seven instruments get signed between Dhaka and Bandar Seri Begawan to step up cooperation in the fields of agriculture, fisheries, livestock, culture, sports and LNG supply. The ministers concerned of the two countries inked the six MoUs and an exchange of note in presence of the HPM and the Sultan. In a related development, the Bangladesh Premier proposed formation of a regional economic forum comprising five OIC member states, including Bangladesh and Brunei, in South and Southeast Asian region.

UN Road Safety Week: Bangladesh to observe it for first time

Bangladesh will observe the United Nations Global Road Safety Week this year for the first time aiming to raise awareness about road safety to prevent road accidents. The fifth UN Global Road Safety Week-2019 will be observed from May 6 to 12, with “Leadership for Road Safety” as its theme. The government took the decision at a time when road accidents have become a major issue in the country, especially since last year’s massive students’ protests for safer roads. The road transport and bridges ministry, which will spearhead the observation, held a meeting yesterday to plan different programmes to mark the week.

Be vocal against terrorism: HPM Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday strongly condemned the terror attacks in Sri Lanka and urged everyone to be vocal against terrorists. "Terrorists are terrorists. They've no religion, caste and state. They're terrorists. So, all will have to be vocal against them," she told recently. Regretting the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, she said there will be no room for any terrorist, militant, corrupt or drug addict in Bangladesh. She also added that her government has not only announced zero tolerance policy against such terrorism and militancy but also took actions immediately by keeping its intelligence agencies alert.

2018 net FDI inflow at $3.61b

The net inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh stood at $3.61 billion on a final count, according to the latest statistics of the central bank. Annual net FDI inflow jumped by 675 last year as net FDI was $2.15 billion. The Bangladesh Bank data put gross inflow of foreign investment at $4.54 billion in the 2018 calendar year. The net amount of fresh investment or equity reached $1.12 billion last year while net investment through intra-company loans stood at $1.18 billion.

Dhaka suggests ways to better multilateral trading system

Bangladesh has placed six proposals to make the multilateral trading system more effective recognising the importance of it for sustainable development. Principal Secretary to HPM Sheikh Hasina, Md Nojibur Rahman placed the recommendations at the high-level thematic panel discussion titled 'trade, science, technology, innovation and capacity building' of the 4th ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FFD) at the UN Headquarters. The Principal Secretary said the international community must promote a universal, rule-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system.

HPM receives treatment like general patient

In an effort to lending support to public health-care, HPM Sheikh Hasina took treatment like a general patient from the National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital in the capital by paying required fees. The premier went to the hospital on Friday morning, bought a ticket from the counter, and received treatment like any other patient. She had also received treatment from the NIO, this way, in the past. During her stay at the NIO, HPM enquired about the current activities of the hospital and thanked the physicians and nurses.

Bangladesh-UK strategic dialogue discusses terrorism

In the third strategic dialogue , Bangladesh and Britain have discussed the recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, and agreed to work together to counter terrorism and violent extremism. Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK Sir Simon McDonald led the UK side while his counterpart Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque headed the Bangladesh team at the dialogue held at the state guesthouse Padma. Having lifted their bilateral relations to a strategic level, they agreed to continue to cooperate on security, countering terrorism and violent extremism to safeguard their citizens and global humanity from this menace.

RMG exports to new markets post 27% growth

Garment exports to non-traditional markets posted a robust growth of 27.02% during the first nine months of the current fiscal year (2018-19), thanks to preferential trade benefit and fiscal incentives. According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), apparel shipments to new export destinations fetched US$ 4.39 billion during the July-March period of current fiscal year as against $3.45 billion during the same period in the last fiscal year. In the last fiscal (2017-18), the new export markets, also called non-traditional markets, contributed $4.76 billion or 15.26 percent to the total apparel exports of $30.61 billion.

Govt mulls underground substations in Dhaka

The government is planning to set up country’s first underground power substations in the capital’s Karwan Bazar and Gulshan-1 to increase the capacity of power supply and cut the dependency on land. These substations will reduce the possibility of load shedding and technical loss of power, said officials of Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) and Dhaka Electric Supply Company (Desco). Each of the two substations will increase the capacity of power supply by 360 megawatt. The electricity demand of the city at present is around 2,700MW.

Nutrition governance initiatives launched

The Ministry of Food and the European Union have launched National Information Platform for Nutrition and four nutrition governance initiatives. In 2012, Bangladesh joined the SUN movement, acknowledging the crucial role that nutrition plays in development. Bangladesh National Nutrition Council has been revived and the National Plan of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025 which aims to achieve “nutrition for all” by fostering inter-sectoral coordination has been adopted. The second Country Investment Plan 2016-2020 on nutrition-sensitive food systems has been developed in response to the commitment made in the 7th Five Year Plan and to enhance investments in priority nutrition-sensitive programmes.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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