Nov 21, 2021


HPM Sheikh Hasina urges IORA to make all-out efforts for developing blue economies

Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina has stressed the need for making best efforts to develop blue economies by the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member states. The prime minister said this while a delegation of 12 IORA member countries had a meeting with her last week. During the meeting, the delegation members also stressed the need for making a collective effort by IORA nations for development of blue economies. The premier also said: “Though there are enormous potentials, our intra-region investments are modest. There is ample scope for expanding the bilateral trade and investment relations among the IORA member countries." Speaking on the occasion, each of the delegation members highly praised the role of HPM Sheikh Hasina in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and her strong role in the COP26 conference. Bangladesh, as the next chair of the IORA, hosted the 21st IORA Council of Ministers' meeting.

Bangladesh reports zero Covid death for first time in twenty months, vaccination for slum dwellers begins

Owing to a raft of prudent measures put in place by HPM Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh for the first time reported zero death from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours in the country since 4 April last year. Moreover, with a target of inoculating three crore people across the country by this month, the government has rolled out a Covid-19 vaccination programme last week at one of the biggest slums in Dhaka, which accommodates around 3,00,000 people. Currently, the government is administering 1.5 million doses every day to meet the targets – jabbing three crores by November, and 70% of the population by January next. Earlier, the authorities started jabbing the physically challenged, aspiring migrant workers and other groups of people.

UN, for the first time, adopts Rohingya resolution by consensus

The United Nations (UN) has adopted a resolution last week on 'The situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar' by consensus for the first time. "The adoption of the Rohingya resolution, for the first time by consensus, demonstrates the international community's strong resolve to end this crisis", said Bangladesh Permanent Representative at the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima. The resolution was jointly tabled by the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the European Union (EU). A total of 107 countries co-sponsored the resolution, the highest since 2017. The resolution also recognized the Bangladesh government's efforts and investments in building the facilities in Bhashan char for relocation of a portion of the Rohingyas from the congested camps, and in this regard, also welcomed the MoU signed by Bangladesh with UNHCR. The primary focus of the resolution was the human rights situation of the Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar, including in the context of the declaration of state of emergency on February 1, 2021.

HPM Sheikh Hasina conferred with WISTA award

HPM Sheikh Hasina has won the WITSA Eminent Persons Award 2021 for her “outstanding contributions” to improving the living standard of people by using information and communication technology. WITSA is consortium of ICT industry association members from over 80 countries or economies around the world. It also considered Bangladesh premier’s dynamic leadership in formulating and implementing the Digital Bangladesh plans before choosing her for the award. On the other hand , HPM’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy has been conferred with 'ASOCIO Leadership Award-2021' for his contribution to bringing unprecedented change in the country's ICT sector.

Remittances mark significant inflow: World Bank

Bangladesh has significantly progressed in terms of remittance inflow, and is likely to rank seventh in the world, with growth at 6 % in 2021 despite the pandemic, a World Bank report said. The World Bank has predicted that remittances of $23 billion will come to Bangladesh through banking channels this year. And this figure will be 6% more than in 2020. This return to growth is more robust than earlier estimates and follows the resilience of flows in 2020 when remittances declined by only 1.7% despite a severe global recession due to COVID-19, according to estimates from the World Bank’s Migration and Development brief released.

Mega plans underway to set up 39 high tech parks

Under the umbrella of the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City in Gazipur, Bangladesh is going to be an electronics device manufacturing country for local and foreign hardware companies. Till now, the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City in Gazipur has already been able to attract $120.76 million investment as the government provides incentives for Investment in technology sector, official data shows. According to the plan, titled “Digital Bangladesh”, laid out by Bangladesh Awami League, works are underway for construction of at least 39 hi-tech parks are being developed across the country. Bangladesh plans to launch eight new hi-tech parks this year and tap significant investments by 2023.

Bangladesh to co-host 2031 ICC World Cup

Bangladesh and India will jointly host the 50-over ICC World Cup in 2031, the International Cricket Council announced last week. The ICC declared eight global events which will be held from 2014 to 2031. Fourteen countries will be the hosts of the events. It’ll be the second time Bangladesh hosting a 50-over World Cup after they successfully co-hosted the mega event back in 2011 along with India and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh hosted a total of eight World Cup matches, including two quarterfinals, during the 2011 edition of the tournament. Bangladesh last hosted an ICC event in 2016 when the ICC U-19 World Cup was held in the country. It also organised the 2014 edition of the ICC T20 World Cup.

Bangabandhu railway bridge project, construction work progressing fast

Construction of the dedicated railway bridge over the Jamuna River is expected to end within its first deadline as it is now moving faster after the corona hiccup. The 4.8km Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge is being built parallel to the existing Bangabandhu Bridge as part of the government’s efforts to remove infrastructural bottlenecks for more economic mileage. Apart from the construction of 4.80km main bridge, a total of 30.70km rail line, including a 0.05km viaduct at both sides, 7.667 km railway approach embankment, loop and siding, will be constructed. Existing stations at both sides and their signalling and telecommunications systems will be improved as well. Once the double line bridge comes into operation, 88 to 90 trains can be operated per day, including goods trains, and trains will be able to cross the bridge at a speed of 120km per hour, according to media reports.

Bangladesh, Mexico for new avenues to deepen bilateral ties

Terming economic affairs a key aspect and one of the priorities in foreign policy, Bangladesh and Mexico have agreed to create a Joint Working Group between the governments to explore the potential untapped areas and take advantage of their respective economic opportunities. Both sides at a meeting also expressed their firm convictions in finding new avenues to further deepen the existing friendly bilateral relationship. The first-ever Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) between Bangladesh and the Mexican United States was held virtually last week in a cordial atmosphere. The leader of the Bangladesh delegation emphasized the need to carry forward the momentum that was created during the successful visit of the State Minister for Foreign Affairs in September 2021 while attending the 200-year celebration of Mexican Independence.

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