Dec 20, 2020


Dhaka, Delhi revive historic links, injects fresh impetus in summitry

Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi held a summit in virtual platform last week, setting a very positive tone on all aspects of bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and international issues. In a reflection of their rapidly growing ties, India and Bangladesh on Thursday sealed seven agreements to expand cooperation in diverse areas, and restored a cross-border rail link which was in operation till 1965. Both leaders also jointly inaugurated a digital exhibition on Bangladesh's founder Mujibur Rahman and Mahatma Gandhi in an effort to celebrate the life and legacies of the two iconic leaders.

Bangladesh’s scores in all three criteria well above for graduation from LDC: UNCTAD

Bangladesh is on track to graduate to a developing country from a least developed one as a UN body estimates that the country's scores in all three criteria would be much higher from the graduation threshold next year. In its assessment, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) painted an encouraging picture on the progress, saying the country would stand at 142 percent of one of the thresholds in 2021, when a UN panel would review Bangladesh's progress for a second time. If the country maintains its position in the three categories for the next three years, it will be recognised as a developing country in the UN General Assembly in 2024. The UNCTAD projections on the three eligibility criteria are almost similar to the latest status report that the government last month sent to the UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP).

49 Years of Victory: Nation renews resolve to uproot fundamentalism

The nation, on December 16, celebrated Victory Day, saluting the supreme sacrifice of the gallant sons and daughters of the soil and vowing afresh to uproot fundamentalism. There were restrictions on public gatherings due to the pandemic, but the virus scare could not dampen the spirit as hundreds of people, irrespective of age and gender, gathered at memorials across the country. Moreover, addressing the nation on the occasion of Victory Day, HPM Sheikh Hasina, issued a strong warning against religious fanatics, saying the government would not let anyone create any division and anarchy in the country over religion.

Bangladesh witnesses stable economic outlook braving pandemic

Foreign exchange reserves yesterday hit a new record of $42.09 billion thanks to the upward trend of remittance and lower import payments, Bangladesh Bank data showed. The reserves, one of the major macroeconomic indicators of an economy, touched the $40-billion mark on October 8 and rose to $41 billion on October 28. The reserves stood at $32.11 billion on December 15 last year. Meanwhile, remittance inflow hits a record $20.73 billion till December 14 this year ahead of the country’s 50th Victory Day. The country’s remittance crossed $20 billion benchmark for the first time in the history. It is almost 42% more from the figure of the same time of previous year. It was $14.59 billion at the same time last year. In addition, the country’s overall Balance of Payments (BoP) has marked a record surplus at over $4.1 billion during the July-October period as capital machinery and other import demand dropped amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh likely to receive first shipment of Covid vaccine in January, Covid positivity rate dips 8 motnh low

The country will receive the first consignment of Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine in January. As many as five million shots of the three crore doses of the vaccine could reach the country on any day of January, while the remaining doses will come in phases with 5 million each month. Moreover, the rate of daily positive coronavirus cases dropped last week to 8.6%, the lowest it has been in more than eight months, while the recovery rate continued to increase. Moreover, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus, the government has extended the closure of all educational institutions, which remain closed since March, until January 16.

$800 million project to cut pollution

The World Bank (WB) has agreed to provide $800 million for a new project titled ‘Bangladesh Environment Sustainable Transformation (BEST)’ to help the country address pollution. The project is expected to decrease particulate emissions by 20%–30% by brick kilns through adopting a cleaner technology. The Department of Environment (DOE) has been designing the new project to guide the efforts for controlling environmental problems including air, water, soil, river and industrial pollution. Though different organizations were responsible for implementing components of the project, this one will be implemented exclusively by DOE.

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