Nov 24, 2019 | Issue 237


HPM’s visit to UAE takes ties to new heights

The relationship between Bangladesh and UAE has been elevated to a different dimension with this week visit of Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina as it has ushered in a new horizon to boost the bilateral trade and commerce in the coming days. During her meeting with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, a sense of optimism has been lent out on the reopening its labour market for Bangladeshi workers. In reference to the introduction of the one-stop services to the investors for more than 100 infrastructure-related and utility services, she sought both public and private investment in larger volumes in potential sectors in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh among top four in digital economy growth

Bangladesh has been placed on the list of ‘Top Movers’ in Huawei Global Connectivity Index 2019 for its remarkable growth in the digital economy over the last four years. According to the repot, as a starter nation, in less than 5 years, Bangladesh boosted its Global Connectivity Index (GCI) score by seven points. Since 2015, mobile subscription penetration jumped from 5% to 41 per cent and smartphone penetration from 7% to 34%. In addition to the mobile subscription, the country’s fibre to home (FTTH) coverage and the fixed broadband base also made significant progress.

Agri food processors eye $1b in exports

Agricultural food-processing entrepreneurs have pinned hopes that they can raise their annual exports by more than 40% to $1 billion within 2021 through adoption of advanced technology. Shipment by the agricultural food-processing sector stood at around $700 million in the last fiscal year. Two concurrent expositions – the 9th Agro Bangladesh Expo 2019 and the 6th Rice & Graintech Expo Bangladesh – would also take place in the same venue. The exposition aims at creating a bridge between the local market and the international market and familiarising local entrepreneurs with modern technologies and products.

BD, WB Group to collaborate in doing business reforms

Bangladesh and the World Bank Group have agreed to extend collaboration in a number of areas, including on doing business reforms, development of investment policies, enhancement of promotional activities and skills development to face the 4th industrial revolution. Both the sides also agreed to develop institutional capacity of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), introduction of risk-based management and implementation of one-stop service. According to a report, released by World Bank in October, Bangladesh advanced 8 notches in global ease of doing business ranking to 168 out of 190 counties.

16th span of Padma Bridge installed, 2400m visible

Around 2.5km out of 6.15-km of the much-hyped Padma Bridge has become visible after installation of the 16th span this week. The 16th span of the Padma Bridge was installed on Tuesday afternoon making 2.5km of the mega structure visible. The construction work of the long-cherished Padma Bridge started in December, 2015 and the first span (superstructure) among the 41 was installed on September 30, 2017. The length of the steel structure double-deck Padma bridge is 6.15 kilometres. The trains will run through the lower deck while the road will be on the upper level of the bridge. When the construction of the Padma bridge is completed, the capital will be directly connected with 21 southern districts through road and railways.

Rooppur power plant progresses significantly

As Bangladesh is expecting its first megawatts of nuclear energy in the coming years, manufacture of different machinery and equipment of Rooppur Power Plant is running in full swing in Russia. Some of the machinery and equipment have already reached in Bangladesh for the nuclear power plant, while some have been shipped and others are still in manufacturing process. Rooppur NPP is designed and being constructed according to Russian design. The plant will have two power units, each of 1200 MW capacity, with the latest generation 3+ VVER 1200 reactor.

Bangladesh-Russia signs protocol to boost ties

Bangladesh signed a protocol with the Russian Federation to promote bilateral relations on trade, economy, science and technology. The protocol was signed at the 2nd meeting of Bangladesh-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation. The protocol was signed after holding a long discussion between the two governments. Both sides discussed potential cooperation in areas of trade and economy, power and energy, atomic energy, civil aviation, fisheries and livestock, smooth banking settlement, geological research, ICT, industry, space and satellite, education and culture.

Size of ceramic industry may double by 2023

The country's ceramic industry is estimated to be doubled in size by 2023, aided by the growing domestic real estate industry, rising demand for products in the EU markets and the trade tension between US and China, according to media reports. A recent USAID report also made a similar forecast, saying the ceramic industry of Bangladesh would attain a value worth US$ 1.56 billion by 2023. The country fetched $ 68.97 million through exporting ceramic products in the last fiscal year (FY 2018-19), marking a 32.79% growth against $ 51.94 million in the last FY.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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