July 21, 2019 | Issue 225


Seoul Dhaka relations reach new heights

During his recent visit to Bangladesh, Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) of South Korea Lee Nak-yon assured Bangladesh of considering duty-free, quota-free market access for all Bangla-deshi products to their market as the bilateral trade is heavily tilted towards Korea. The assurance came during the official summit talks between Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina and her South Korean counterpart Lee Nak-yon at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the city. The Premier highly appreciated Bangladesh’s significant progress over the past years and laid emphasis on cooperation in three major areas -- energy and infrastructure and ICT -- diversifying products to boost Bangladesh’s export beyond the readymade garment industry.

Poverty Reduction: Bangladesh makes significant stride

Bangladesh got about 19.3 million people out of poverty between 2004 and 2014, the fastest reduction in UNDP’s poverty index during that period. The 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), released on Thursday, said the population in multidimensional poverty in Bangladesh had dropped to 74.4 million in 2014 from 93.7 million in 2004. The MPI is a tool to measure progress against Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 which aims to end poverty in all its forms and dimension. Bangladesh is among 10 countries with a combined population of 2 billion to have made statistically significant progress towards achieving SDG 1.

WB to give $100m for safe water, sanitation

The World Bank has approved a loan of $100 million to increase access to improved water supply and sanitation system in 30 municipalities in Bangladesh as well as to help build their capacity for delivering water and sanitation services. The Municipal Water Supply and Sanitation Project will help about 600,000 people living in small towns get safe water through piped water supply systems. In the selected 30 municipalities that currently do not have piped water systems, the project will install water infrastructures, including water treatment facility, water storage, transmission and distribution pipe network, and house connections.

Bangladeshi scouts taking on the world

What started out as a voluntary movement founded by British army officer Robert Baden-Powell in early 1900s has reached schools and colleges all over the country. Bangladesh regularly participates in international scouting events -- giving students an opportunity to become global members of society. Over 200 scouts have been selected to represent Bangladesh at the 24th World Scout Jamboree to be held from July 22 to August 2 in West Virginia, USA. The jamboree is a social and educational event where scouts will be able to hone their skills and exchange viewpoints with members from other countries.

Govt plans to introduce high-speed train

HPM Sheikh Hasina put emphasis on repairing the old railway bridges across the country as the government is planning to introduce high-speed trains for better service. The premier came up with the remarks while inaugurating Benapole Express which will ply between Dhaka and Benapole. She also inaugurated extension service of Dhaka-Rajshahi nonstop intercity train Banalata Express. What we need to do the old railway bridges to be rebuilt. It is because, high-speed trains are being added. Modern engines will also be added. So, skilled manpower should be made and they must be provided training, she said.

Govt launches NID verification gateway

HPM Sheikh Hasina’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed has inaugurated a gateway server for efficient verification of national identity (NID) cards. The gateway will help instantly verify NIDs while opening bank accounts, digital wallet accounts or for verifying the identity of any Bangladeshi citizen. It will also prevent forgery of NIDs, make services safer and improve security and privacy, according to the officials. Part of the “Digital Bangladesh” vision and developed through an initiative of the ICT Ministry, “”, will evolve to meet the growing need for real-time NID verification, says the release from ICT Division.

Export, import licence registration goes online

The commerce ministry launched an online platform where exporters and importers can both register and renew their licences, a development aimed at hastening the process and curbing corruption. Bangladesh has signed a World Trade Organisation agreement on going paperless to ease business processes and to reduce procedural costs of supply chains. Progressing a lot digitally, Bangladesh has been seeking foreign direct investment and if it cannot show improvements in technology adaptation, foreign investors will not feel encouraged to invest here, media reports quoted the minister as saying. Moreover, the government wants to serve businesspeople through digital platforms so that they do not face any kind of hassle.

HPM for boost in waterways connectivity with India

HPM Sheikh Hasina emphasised strengthening waterways connectivity between Bangladesh and India, in a bid to promote trade and commerce between the two countries. She discussed the issue of increasing the connectivity, when Honourable High High Commissioner of India Riva Ganguly Das paid a courtesy call at the premier’s official residence, Gono Bhaban. During the meeting, Bangladesh Premier and the envoy discussed various bilateral issues of interest, aiming to add an impetus to the gamut of ties between the countries.

Ensure good governance; HPM directs DCs

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday directed deputy commissioners to ensure good governance at all levels of administration taking support from the public representatives, besides taking steps to uproot militancy. “Besides taking steps to check militancy, drug abuse and other social menaces, you must ensure good governance at levels with the support from public representatives,” she said while opening a five-day DC conference at Prime Minister’s Office complex in the capital. The premier also gave 31-point directives to DCs for the country’s overall development. She also asked DCs to be careful that none is harassed or neglected while taking government services.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

Join us on Facebook Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on G+ Follow us on Twitter