Nov 26, 2015
According to the latest Global Gender Gap Index 2015, revealed by World Economic Forum, Bangladesh leads South Asia in bridging gender disparities with maximum advances being made in the health sector. Like last year, Bangladesh was placed in the top spot for ensuring female education in primary and secondary level. The index puts Bangladesh in 68th position among 145 countries around the world, up from 100th in 2007. This report testifies to the efforts put in place by the government in ending national gender disparities on economic, political, education and health criteria.
United Nation’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon came up with high praise for Bangladesh's socio-economic progresses under the prudent leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and hoped that the country would do even better in implementing the new development goals, SDGs. Effusive praise was also bestowed upon the Bangladesh premier for her far-reaching and time-tested vison and initiatives that proved to be instrumental in addressing climate change and disaster-risk reduction issues.
Real, measurable improvements in garment factories are now well underway to make a safer Bangladesh garment industry a reality for millions of workers. This week, during a two-day second annual council meeting of the Bangladesh-US Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement, the United States has praised progresses made as regards workplace safety and labour rights and recognized the huge potential Bangladesh possesses. Currently, the country emerged as the second largest garment hub across the world.
Firm commitment as demonstrated by Bangladesh has opened up a horizon for the world in unlocking and harnessing the thriving potentials of emerging blue economy as well the country is breaking new grounds in building resilience against impacts of climate change. Recently, echoing a similar note, the Thai Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Virasakdi Futrakul has highly commended Bangladesh for its robust leadership in this regard while assurance being pledged by India to extend cooperation for the cause.
Renewing her pledge to bring solace for the three million martyrs and their families Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has commented that Bangladesh is being released from a curse through the execution of war criminals for the crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War. She said that Bangladesh had begun the trial of those who had collaborated with the Pakistani occupation forces but the process was subverted after the assassination of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975. National media outlets carried out opinion pieces showing overwhelming public support for the trial and the optimum level of transparency and fairness it maintained.
Infrastructure and Mega Projects
Target has been set in motion to complete the construction of the long cherished two-lane tunnel under the Karnaphuli river by 2020 involving $1.1 billion. This week, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council approved the project, marking the beginning of a historic journey towards expansion of modern communication network in the country. The tunnel, which will be the first of its kind in Bangladesh, would improve the Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox's Bazar road network.
Country’s quest to remodel, reshape and upgrade the infrastructure sector gained momentum as South Korea has pledged to provide Bangladesh with $350 million in this regard. Korean Ambassador in Dhaka Anh Seung-doo made the announcement, asserting that his country will continue to take a pivotal role in socioeconomic growth and industrial development of Bangladesh now and forever by securing effective implementation of the Korean ODA in the best sustainable way.
The government has approved construction of a large-scale solar park as part of a push to increase the share of power from renewable sources in this electricity-starved country. The new solar park, which is due to begin generating within the next 18 months, will supply up to 200MW of electricity to the national grid. The solar power will be cheaper than electricity from conventional power stations. After assuming power in 2009, the government has undertaken an array of measures that brought 74% people under electricity coverage.
Growth and Development
Towards the goal to upgrade the secondary education system, the government has forged a deal worth $185 million with Asian Development Bank for stepping up improvement for quality, retention and access. Further strengthening institutional capacity of secondary education management, making e-procurement fully operational in the Ministry of Education and its institutions; and construction of selected district education offices are among the other activities to be supported.
With signs of improvement in implementation, a rural connectivity project financed by the World Bank is projected to yield benefits on the lives of 20 million people across the country. Expected to bring a positive shift in the road maintenance approach, the project will help rural communities with improved access to social and economic facilities and services such as schools, hospitals, markets, financial institutions and jobs and builds the capacity of government institutions to better manage rural transport infrastructure.
A landmark move to bring a wholesale reform in the stockmarket of Bangladesh is in the making with a deal being struck with India with an aim to find out measures to make the capital market bold, accountable and effective. Further assistance is being extended by Asian Development Bank as the latter pledged to provide $250 million to boost institutional investor demand, broaden the supply of financial instruments, promote a more liquid government bond market and support the establishment of a clearing company.
Giving a major boost to the expansion of export market, government has decided to provide cash incentives to lift up the export of pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding and some other non-traditional products. The non-traditional products include military uniform, travel bags, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, outdoor jackets, jute slippers and other jute goods. Pharmaceutical products of Bangladesh are being exported to 107 countries across the world with the earning going up to $72.64 million in last year.
France Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFB) will organize a two-day trade fair to showcase French products and technologies available in Bangladesh. Representatives from Bangladeshi and French companies from different sectors, including telecom, textile, aviation, energy and cosmetics, will join the show. Bangladesh's exports to France have gone up from €650 million in 2008-09 to €1.7 billion in 2014-15.
During a visit to Bangladesh, Wang Pi Ann , Vice-minister of Health and Family Council of China, expressed his optimism that the existing friendly ties between China and Bangladesh would further be strengthened in the coming days. The Chinese Minister assured of extending assistance to Bangladesh in its various projects and hoped that Bangladesh would march ahead in progress and prosperity within a short span of time.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe extends his willingness to consolidate economic relations with Bangladesh, saying that the latter could serve as a gateway to the South Asia and South East Asia for Sri Lanka. During a meeting with the Bangladesh High commissioner in Sri Lanka at the latter’s office, the Premier also offered to expand the bilateral cooperation in the field of trade, investment, shipping, fisheries, culture and people-to-people.
With laying of cable lines on Bangladesh side completed, hopes are on the horizon that Bangladesh will begin export of bandwidth in India form next month at a price 33% higher than that in domestic market. Indian state owned company will import 10 Gbps bandwidth for Tripura state. As of now, the bandwidth capacity in Bangladesh stands out at 200 Gbps. Over the last six years, the country has taken a quantum leap in realizing its dream of Digital Bangladesh, a vision envisaged by the Awami League government.
Preparations are rolled out to introduce the digital version of textbooks at every primary school across the country as part of government’s effort to improve standard of education in the country. Under the project, initially, 17 textbooks out 34 are being converted into digital version. Remaining textbooks will be developed during the second phase of the project. Digital books would make the content more attractive, enjoyable and easily understandable to the learners.
Bangladesh Awami League Bangladesh Insight Archives