April 16, 2015
In pledging her support for Presidential aspirant Hilary Clinton, US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has lauded Bangladesh’s empowerment of women in politics. She said: “We want to set the example of women empowerment that Bangladesh has established. Not only the PM, leader of the opposition and Speaker of the House are women, but women also lead major political parties. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is now a global phenomenon in the realm of women empowerment.”
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova has commended Bangladesh's success in education saying that countries lagging behind in achieving Education for All (EFA) goal can follow its example. She said Bangladesh is moving forward towards inclusive education within the target of 2015 due to present government's political will and commitment to education. She also lauded the role and commitment of Sheikh Hasina and Bangladesh's achievement in MDGs and EFA well ahead of 2015.
Tsukamoto, a Japanese company, will recruit 10,000 Bangladeshi workers for its construction, care-giving and nursing concerns. Japan and Bangladesh will sign a MoU sometime in May in this regard. A delegation from Tsukamoto recently visited Bangladesh to discuss the recruitment process. The company will employ Bangladeshis in its priority categories and also arrange training for the selected candidates on Japanese language and other necessary matters.
The Interpol has issued a 'red corner' notice for arrest of BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman, a prime accused in the 21st August 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in Dhaka. The Interpol 'most wanted' list has carried Tarique's picture with details, saying Bangladesh is seeking him to stand trial in the 2004 case. 24 people were killed in a brutal attack on an AL rally on 21st August 2004, the prime target of which was the assassination of its leader Sheikh Hasina.
The central bank of Bangladesh sees the country's economy resilient despite occasional disturbances by opposition and natural disasters because people are hardworking and adaptive to both natural and manmade disasters. In the booklet ”Bangladesh: A Stable and Vibrant Economy”, the central bank projected the country may achieve at least 6.5% GDP growth by the end of current fiscal year. For the upcoming 2015-16 fiscal year, the government is expecting 7.5% GDP growth.
A $302 million World Bank project is helping Bangladesh improve its rural road networks. The project titled “RTIP II” is providing approximately 22 million people with facilities such as better access to schools, hospitals, markets and jobs. The project is also building the capacity of government institutions to better manage rural transport infrastructure. The project aims to improve and maintain around 5,250km of union and Upazila roads and 50 growth center markets in 26 districts.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Mawna Flyover, ushering in a new era in road communication between Dhaka, Gazipur and greater Mymensingh district. This is the latest addition to the numerous flyovers the Awami League government has built since assuming power in 2009. In a related development, work is progressing fast on the Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover in Dhaka. 60% work of the 8.25 kilometre-long flyover has already been completed.
The government is planning to set up a new industrial zone in the country’s northwest region. A variety of industries including agricultural services will be accommodated in this new zone. The zone will be set up on the unused land belonging to different ministries including the Industries Ministry. The government is also planning to form an authority for ensuring better coordination and development of existing industries. A new law will be enacted for these two purposes.
The government has initiated the process of installing a 91-km pipeline to carry re-gasified imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Moheshkhali Island in the Bay of Bengal to Anowara in Chittagong to facilitate its transmission to the end users. Tenders have already been floated for installing the pipeline. This initiative comes at the heels of the agreement signed with US Excelerate Energy Ltd in January to build the country's first floating LNG terminal. LNG import is likely to start in early 2017.
Indian states of Tripura and Meghalaya have sought New Delhi's support to export their excess electricity to neighbouring Bangladesh. The plea came last week at a two-day national conference of 23 ministers of states for power, renewable energy and mines in Guwahati, Assam. During the conference, both Tripura Power Minister Manik Dey and Meghalaya Power Minister Clement R Marak strongly supported further strengthening power cooperation between India and Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman has said that the poverty rate of the country would go down to 8.3% or even at lower level by 2030 should the country expedite infrastructure development process. Poverty rate declined consistently by nearly 2% over the last few years, along with making significant improvements in other social indicators. The current Awami League government has brought down the poverty rate from 31% in 2010 to the current level of 25%.
Interplast, a non-profit organization that provides free plastic surgeries in developing countries has assured Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina of its all-out assistance in setting up a separate burn and plastic surgery institute in Dhaka along with burns units across the country. The assurance came when a nine-member delegation of Germany, Netherlands and Hungary chapters of Interplast met the Prime Minister at her official residence Ganabhaban on Sunday evening.
Bangladesh has experienced tremendous growth in the Information Technology (IT) and IT enabled services (ITES) sectors in the first eight months of the current financial year thanks to maintaining international standards and offering diversified products. Demand for local IT and ITES increased by more than 14% during this period both in the domestic and international markets, earning the country around $86.07 million. Industry insiders expect 20% export growth by the end of the year.
Use of ICT- based modern multimedia classrooms has opened up a new dimension in the teaching-learning dynamics in Rajshahi, as in other parts of the country. Such classrooms have already been installed in 3,280 schools in eight districts of Rajshahi and 3,850 teachers have been trained to increased their IT skills in facilitating the use of creativity in preparing and delivering lessons. This paradigm shift is changing the nature of education from rote learning to one based on class participation.
USA and China have made fresh offers to increase economic cooperation and assistance to Bangladesh. This was expressed recently to the Bangladesh Finance Minister by the respective envoys of the two countries. USA has offered assistance for Bangladesh from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) to finance regional connectivity projects. On the other hand, China has also expressed interest to offer more soft loans to Bangladesh, with low interest rates and good grace periods.
Bangladesh and India are set to operate trial bus service on the newfound Dhaka-Sylhet-Shillong-Guwahati route from 2nd May with the greater aim of adding a new dimension to regional connectivity. The trial run of the bus service will continue for a week or more to ascertain the number of buses required and fix the schedules in keeping with the trans-border traffic load. The move is expected to boost tourism on both sides as well as facilitating travel for purposes of commerce and trade.
Trade and Investment
Bangladesh's ready-made garments (RMG) sector is moving towards green building initiatives to tap into orders from international retailers who prefer environmentally friendly manufacturers. Already, 14 factories have received the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council, with 50 more factories in queue and target of 150 by end of 2016. LEED recognises the best-in-class green building strategies and practices.
The government has decided to offer a full-range of incentives to developers of private economic zones, including tax holiday facility for 10 years, tax exemption from dividend income, and income tax waiver on service charges. The package also includes tax-benefit on payment of Value Added Tax, customs duty and income tax. The incentive package has been approved at the latest board meeting of Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA), chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Bangladesh Awami League Bangladesh Insight Archives