Dec 03, 2015
Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been named as one of the world's top 100 leading global thinkers by the prestigious Washington-based magazine on global politics, economics and ideas, Foreign Policy. She has secured her place among the 13 top global thinkers in the category "Decision Makers". She has been named as a leading global thinker for her outstanding contribution to address climate change.
Bangladesh has advanced one position to 144 in this year's global ranking of the ICT Development Index from last year, reflecting its development in the digital space. Overall, the country moved up four positions since 2010, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Such improvements highlight the present government's continuous efforts to digitize all the sectors by 2021 as it promised seven years ago.
Experts are of the opinion that Bangladesh was well prepared as regards the global climate conference being held at Paris, known as COP21. Their opinion is based on the fact that Bangladesh has done its homework ahead of the conference; they have also lauded the country's plan to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Bangladesh is a country most vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change despite being one of the lowest carbon emitting countries.
A number of members of the European Parliament (EP) have highly praised Bangladesh’s socio-economic progresses and fight against terrorism, during a discussion on Bangladesh last Thursday. For example, the MEP from London, UK Mr. Charles Tannock lauded the Awami League government for tackling terrorism, facing “very difficult” circumstances. The MEP from London compared this with the European countries' fight against terrorism.
In the preceding week, police in Bangladesh arrested six militants with bombs, belonging to Shibir, Jamaat’s student wing. In a related development, a criminal court in Rangpur has found seven members of Shibir guilty and imprisoned them for possession of bombs. During the week, police also arrested 4 militants belonging to banned outfit JMB. Detectives have found ex-members of Jamaat-Shibir patronizing the JMB.
Infrastructure and Mega Projects
A deal has been signed between the government and four Japanese construction firms to construct three new bridges and a flyover, worth around $1.1 billion, on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway. The projects, receiving substantial funding from the Japanese government, would be completed by 2018. Communications Minister Obaidul Quader has thanked the Japanese government for their support for Bangladesh’s development.
The government has undertaken a mega project worth $102 million to ensure safe drinking water for the rural people across the country. Once the project is implemented in the rural areas, the coverage of arsenic-free safe rural water supply will be increased to 88% from the existing 74%. The project includes rain water harvesting, construction of non-deep tube wells, pond excavation schemes and community-based arsenic iron removal units.
Linde Bangladesh Limited, a subsidiary of Germany-based The Linde Group's Gases Division, is going to invest some $15.5 million in Bangladesh, to build a large air separation unit (ASU) at Rupganj. The ASU, with the capacity of producing approximately 100 tonnes of liquefied gases per day, will come into commercial operation by 2017, and provide gases to various sectors, like health, food, fabric, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding and recycling.
The government has started building houses for 10 thousand homeless families, with the aim of rehabilitating half a million people by the year 2020. So far, the Awami League government has rehabilitated 60 thousand homeless people with land and houses from 2009 to 2013. These were disclosed by the Land Minister as he was speaking as the chief guest at a function after handing over houses built for insolvent freedom fighters.
A total of 800,000 garment factory workers will be trained under the initiative “Improving Working Conditions in the RMG sector in Bangladesh”, a project being implemented jointly by the BEF, ILO, Canada, Netherlands and the UK. Under the initiative, a total of 114 master trainers have already been trained up, who are training a further 8,000 mid-level managers by March 2016, who in turn will train 800,000 workers by the first quarter of 2017.
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division, Shornokishoree Network Foundation, and Microsoft Bangladesh Ltd have taken a joint initiative to educate rural female students across the country on information technology, health and well-being. Under the catchy heading, “Yes She Can”, the ICT training initiative, which aims to improve learning skills of students, was launched this week in Dhaka.
The government has approved the proposal of a Singapore-Malaysia consortium to install a solar panel-based power plant with 50 megawatt production capacity to supply power to the national grid in the Mymensingh district. The HETAT-DITROLIC-IFDC Consortium will set up the power project and supply per unit of electricity at Tk13.26 for 20 years with 18.5 percent plant factor.
The government has instructed the state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) to conduct a Feasibility Study (FS) on constructing a 250-km fuel pipeline between Chittagong and Dhaka by 2017 aimed at reducing transport cost and stopping pilferage of fuel. According to State Minister Nasrul Hamid, the government would install the 250-kilometre fuel pipeline to save $16.6 million annually and ensure fuel security.
Bangladesh and Britain will intensify cooperation further in combating terrorism and violent extremism to ensure international peace and security. Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and his British counterpart Philip Hammond expressed the mutual sentiment during a meeting in Malta last Wednesday. Hammond said that all countries have to be vigilant against the common threat of terrorists as they’ve started operating beyond traditional grounds.
Bangladesh and Canada have agreed to further bolster bilateral cooperation as the foreign ministers of the two countries held talks in Malta on Thursday on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Bangladesh FM apprised his new Canadian counterpart of Bangladesh’s handling of extremism and radicalization, socioeconomic development, women empowerment and other areas.
Bangladesh Awami League Bangladesh Insight Archives