Oct 15, 2015
Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman has been named the best central bank governor in the Asian region by London-based publication Emerging Markets for earmarking far reaching initiatives that successfully upheld macroeconomic stability and expanded financial inclusion in Bangladesh. An array of his powerful works includes launching of a number of ambitious programmes, ranging from empowerment of women through to getting street children into the financial system, and taking financial services to one million tenant farmers who had never been covered by conventional banking.
Astonishing advancement made by Bangladesh as regards uplifting the economic growth has led global financial institutions to revise upward their growth forecast for the country. According to a report by World Bank, Bangladesh will outperform all the South Asian countries, except India, to lead the table for securing growth among the countries in the region. Moreover, IMF has projected that the country's economy would grow by 6.8% in the current fiscal year, citing the growth 'resilient' one.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) endorsed that the under-19 cricket World Cup scheduled to be held next year will take place in Bangladesh. The endorsement came at a meeting this week where major decisions regarding the event were taken, including security issues. Bangladesh successfully co-hosted the Cricket World Cup in 2011 along with its South Asian neighbours. Last year, the country held the fifth ICC T20 World Cup under full proof security.
Bangladesh has strongly condemned the “barbaric and cowardly terrorist attacks” at the Ankara train stations that killed at least 86 people. In a letter to the Turkish government, Bangladesh Premier and the President vowed to stand by the government to fight against the menace of terrorism. Moreover, reiterating her government’s unequivocal commitment towards realising the inalienable rights of the brotherly people of Palestine, Sheikh Hasina has expressed deep concern about the recent Israeli atrocities on Palestinians.
Growth and Development
A historic milestone was set on Thursday as Bangladesh began the construction work to set up the country’s first ever high-tech park in Gazipur ending a 16 years of wait since the plan had been devised. Bangladesh TechnoSity, laid the foundation stone of the first building to be developed on an 186,000-square-foot “smart” building, equipped with both environment friendly and worker-safety features. An amount of $25.8 million would be laid out to finish the job within a space of next six years that would create some 60,000 employment opportunities.
Taking a giant leap forward towards ensuring fair prices for farmers and encouraging cultivation of food items that are free from pesticides and chemicals, the government stepped in to set up an agro-processing economic zone in Natore. In recent years, northern Bangladesh has become a major hub for producing vegetables, spices and cereals. Factories inside the zone will do contract farming in Natore and neighbouring districts. Farmers will produce crops in their fields and food items will be processed inside the zone.
An ambitious target has been set by the government to construct 6,000 classrooms in next fiscal year to expand the light of education in the remotest parts of the country. Other set of targets include setting up 6,000 tube-wells at schools and supplying 14,678 laptops with multimedia projectors, appointing 15,672 teachers, setting up 200 new schools at the villages which has no such institution. Moreover, basic literacy and life skills-based education will be expanded to 10.15 million people between 15 and 45 years.
In view of easing traffic congestion on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway and fostering quick communication between Chittagong port and the rest of the country, the government has forged a contract with a Japanese joint venture to build three four-lane bridges on the highway. Under the Japan-financed project involving $1.1 billion, the bridges, altogether covering 2737 meter in length, will be constructed over the rivers of Sitalakkhya, Meghna and Gomti while approach roads to each of the bridges would be built.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has hailed Bangladesh's efforts to integrate more women in the workforce and singled it out as an example for the globe to increase female employment to spur the growth. The global multi-lender chief hoped that the female workforce will grow from 34 to 82% over the next decade, adding 1.8% to the GDP. Bangladesh has the third highest number of female lawmakers among the Saarc countries and on account of female workforce the country outshined India and Pakistan. As many as 10,000 new nurses will get employment opportunities in hospitals and healthcare centres across the country.
Some 57,000 more landless and homeless families will have their lives turned around owing to the Ashrayan project involving $60 million run by the government especially for the people falling victim to natural disasters including cyclone, river erosion and flood. Directed by the Prime Minister’s office, the rehabilitation project so far rehabilitated 1,32,000 landless and homeless families and improved the standard of living ensuring basic education, healthcare and skill development.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened three new power stations in Ashuganj with a combined capacity of 475MW, taking the total number of active stations to 100, ashining testament to the government vision to ensure electricity for all by 2021. Over the last six years, the government has overseen unprecedented level of power being generated and 74% of the population gaining access to electricity. Given that the present generation capacity exceeds over 14,000 MW, the government is now eyeing to increase it to 20,000 MW.
As part of stepped up government efforts to increase the source of renewable energy, a plan is being considered to install a wind turbine power plant in cooperation with Danish technology. To that end, the state run Power Development Board signed a Memorandum of Understanding with US-DK Green Energy (BD) Ltd to construct the plant worth $120 million that will mark the entry of power generation of Bangladesh into a new era. Commercial operation is expected to begin within one year.
Preparations are well underway to introduce digital learning system for grade six students at all public schools from next year. Audio visual of 16 general subjects and 4 special subjects of Madrasah curriculum with colourful images will also be included along with setting up of special 27 e-learning centres across the country. Currently, Trainers from 14 teachers' training college and selected public universities are working on content development to ensure the distribution from the beginning of the next year.
Bangladesh Post Office is working to launch e-commerce services, and a pilot project is slated to take off at the divisional headquarters by December. The government department aims to use its vast network of 8,500 post offices to offer the services and become the market leader in e-commerce by 2021. The e-commerce sector is currently growing by around 8 to 10 % a year, in a market now worth more than $258 million, and the post offices are capable of taking the services to the remotest parts of the country.
Thailand has agreed to a Bangladesh proposal to sign an instrument on security cooperation to combat the menace of transnational crimes including human trafficking, drug smuggling and terrorism. Further scopes of cooperation in the proposal include Thai Navy Cadet training ships would pay goodwill calls at Bangladesh ports while the two air forces would explore scope for joint exercises specially in the context of UN peacekeeping missions.
Bangladesh, along with 19 other countries, that are among those most vulnerable to climate change, came together to foster greater investment in climate resilience. Formed in the Peru capital city, the alliance known as “Vulnerable Twenty’ or V20” is committed to act collectively to “foster a significant increase” in public and private finance for climate action. Bangladesh is breaking ground with its Urban Resilience Project to build consensus among national decision-makers and technical experts in this regard.
Bangladesh Awami League Bangladesh Insight Archives