Aug 25, 2019 | Issue 229


Bangladesh ranks second in WTO export growth index

Bangladesh has secured second position in export growth among emerging economies and first among South Asian nations in the last decade despite its narrow export basket in the World Trade Organisation index. According to the WTO Statistical Review 2019, Vietnam ranked the top position in the index where major economies including China, India, Mexico, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, Brazil and South Africa, however, were found to be placed in lower positions. WTO released the Review last week saying Vietnam is leading the tally with 14.6% growth while Bangladesh attained 9.8% growth while the figure is 5.7% for China and 5.3 %for India.

A friend of the world; Diplomats remember Bangabandhu at discussion in UN Headquarters

Diplomats at a discussion in UN Headquarters recalled the contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in realising rights of the deprived, terming Bangabandhu a “Friend of the World”. They said the struggle and sacrifice of Bangabandhu in realising the rights of deprived people is a glowing example for the international community. Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations arranged the discussion at the UN Headquarters on Thursday, marking the 44th martyrdom anniversary of Bangabandhu and his family members. In observance of that gruesome assassination plot, people from all walks of life observed the National Mourning Day with due respect and solemnity.

Indo-Bangla relations on positive trajectory

During a recent visit to Bangladesh, Honourable External Affairs Minister of India S Jaishankar said India’s partnership with Bangladesh remains an example of what neighbours can do if they work together as two partners. The Indian government, led by Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is determined to ensure that this partnership is truly a role model in South Asia and for the world. The minister said they would like to offer all possible support to realise Bangladesh’s development agenda which was in India’s interest as well. India is a leading development partner of Bangladesh as it has extended concessional lines of credit to the tune of around $8 billion.

Govt plans school meal to cut dropout

The government is planning to provide daily school meal for all the 17 million primary school students in efforts to increase attendance and reduce dropout. The policy -- National School Meal Policy 2019 -- proposes to provide students of all the 1,34,000 primary schools across the country with 30% of their daily required food intake. Once the policy is implemented, it will minimise students’ short-term hunger, create a more positive learning environment and allow students to better concentrate in classrooms.

US, Bangladesh to jointly work for counter-terrorism

Bangladesh and the United States discussed ways to combat terrorism and violent extremism in Bangladesh and the region. They also held talks on mutual cooperation for greater security and prosperity in the region. US Department of State’s Deputy Coordinator for Counter-terrorism John T Godfrey discussed the issues with Bangladesh government. The envoy met the top officials of Anti-Terrorism Unit and discussed about implementation of their anti-terrorism programs. Ambassador Miller and Deputy Coordinator Godfrey also attended a roundtable discussion with CT, CVE experts from academia, media, and NGOs and exchanged their views on how to address the issue in Bangladesh.

Govt to install 200 million prepaid meters by 2021

The government will install 200 million smart prepaid electricity meters by 2021 to prevent the misuse and wastage of electricity and to create automatic billing facilities for electricity users. Introduced in 2011 by the government, a total 1, 05,000 meters have been installed in the vicinity of Dhaka till June 2019 and work is underway to establish another 7,05,000 meters in the current fiscal year. As part of the government’s vision, a plan has been taken up to set up another 31,00,000 smart (online) pre-payment meters in the next phase.

Germany to provide 90m euro for Saidabad water project

The KfW Development Bank of Germany will provide 90 million Euro to Bangladesh for implementing the Climate-change adapted drinking water resources management Dhaka (Saidabad Phase III) project. In this regard, a tripartite Separate Agreement for the project was signed by the Economic Relations Division (ERD) representing the government, the KfW Development Bank acting on behalf of the German Federal Government, and the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority. The project aims at securing and sustainably managing drinking water supply for the inhabitants of Dhaka Metropolitan city and its adjacent areas. Water will be sourced from the Meghna River. Dhaka WASA will implement the project.

Govt to take Tk 115cr project for land surveys

The government will bring the whole country under a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) by 2020 to conduct accurate land surveys and prepare databases on land management. This project will help monitor tectonic plate movements, predict earthquake vulnerability of different areas, and update with better accuracy all geodetic control networks (an aid to measuring land surface features). It will also help precisely detect land displacement and subsidence after major disasters and aid damage assessments.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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