Dhaka, Oct 25 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have been enjoying the best of relations for decades, which has reached a new height in recent years.
Congratulating Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the newly-appointed Foreign Minister of the Kingdom, Dr Momen said Bangladesh values its traditional fraternal relations with Saudi Arabia.
In a message extended to him, Bangladesh Foreign Minister warmly felicitated Prince Faisal on behalf of the people and the government of Bangladesh as well as on his own behalf, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
He also hoped that the existing excellent relations would be further expanded in depth and dimension in coming days.
Dr Momen said the appointment of Prince Faisal is a clear testimony to the trust and confidence that the people and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the King of Saudi Arabia repose in his ability.
Dr Momen also prayed for the good health, happiness and long life of the Saudi Foreign Minister and also for the continued peace and prosperity for the brotherly people of Saudi Arabia.
Singapore, Oct 25 (UNB) – President Abdul Hamid reached Singapore for a two-day stopover on Friday afternoon during his eight-day two-nation visit.
A flight (SQ631) of Singapore Airlines, carrying the President and his entourage, landed at the Changi International Airport at about 3:15pm (local time) from Haneda International Airport.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to Singapore Md Mustafizur Rahman and senior foreign ministry officials received the President at the airport.
President Hamid will stay at York Hotel Singapore during his two-day stopover.
Earlier, he left Haneda International Airport in Japan's Tokyo at about 9:15am (local time) after a six-day visit.
Special Assistant to Minister for Foreign Affairs Kenjiro Monji, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan Rabab Fatima were present to see off the President.
During Japan tour, the President attended the enthronement ceremony at the Seiden State Hall where new Japanese Emperor Naruhito proclaimed his ascension to the throne as Japan’s 126th monarch.
On Thursday, President Hamid enjoyed the river cruise at ‘Hakone Lake’ on the last day of his Japan tour.
The President’s spouse Rashida Khanam, Md Afzal Hossain, MP, Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Rabab Fatima, President’s Secretary Shampad Barua, Military Secretary Major General Shamim Uz Zaman, Press Secretary Md Joynal Abedin and senior officials accompanied him in the cruise.
He enjoyed the cruise in the lake, surrounded by fabulous mountain scenery, a myriad of cozy villages and the charming city of Hakone in the afternoon.
Hakone, in Japan's Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park west of Tokyo, is a mountainous town known for its hot spring resorts and views of the iconic volcano Mount Fuji.
The President expressed his satisfaction over the lake cruise and attended a series of photo shoots with Bangabhaban, foreign ministry officials and his press wing.
He is expected to return home on October 27.
Baku (Azerbaijan), Oct 25 (UNB) - The two-day 18th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) kicked off in Baku on Friday with a call for upholding the spirit of the forum and strengthen cooperation among its member state.
The summit brought together the heads of state and government of about 60 countries as well as the heads of international organisations.
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev formally inaugurated the summit at Baku Congress Centre in Baku.
Azerbaijan took over the chairmanship of NAM for the next three years at the Baku Summit.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the opening ceremony of the summit alongwith other heads of state and government and representatives of the member states of NAM at the Plenary Hall of Baku Cengress Centre.
On her arrival at the centre at 10 am, Sheikh Hasina was received by the Azerbaijan President.
The other world leaders who joined the summit include Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed, Djibouti President Ismail Omar, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Pakistani President Arif Alvi, Indian Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the current chairperson of NAM, delivered the opening remarks at the inaugural session of the summit.
After his speech, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev was elected chairman unopposed of NAM for the next three years.
After being elected the chairman, he pledged to build NAM on the basis of Bandung principles.
President of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande also spoke at the opening session of the summit.
The hosts of the summit Azerbaijan, located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia and populated by 10 million people, is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, where 96 percent of its citizens are Muslims.
At the outset of the opening session of the summit, a one-minute silence was observed as a mark of profound respect to the memory of the NAM leaders who passed away since the 17th NAM Summit held in Venezuela in 2016.
The theme of general debate of the 18th NAM is “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of contemporary world”.
Sheikh Hasina will join the Working Luncheon to be arranged for the heads of the delegation at the Luncheon Hall of the centre and the Plenary Session.
In the evening, the Prime Minister will attend the official reception to be hosted by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev at Heydar Aliyev Center.
On the sidelines of the NAM Summit, the Prime Minister will call on his Malaysian counterpart Dr Mahathir Mohammed this afternoon.
NAM is a forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. It has 17 observer countries and 10 observer organisations.
The forum is the second biggest organisation after the UN. Today, approximately 55 percent of the world's population lives in the NAM member-states.
These countries possess more than 75 percent of the world’s oil reserves and more than 50 percent of gas reserves, as well as the biggest human and natural resources.
Drawing on the principles agreed at the Bandung Conference in Indonesia in 1955, NAM was established in 1961 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia through an initiative of the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and ex-Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito.
Venezuela’s Margarita Island hosted the 17th NAM Summit in 2016.
NAM was founded during the collapse of the colonial system and the independence struggles of the peoples of Africa, Asia, Latin America and other regions of the world and at the height of the Cold War.
Its actions were a key factor in the decolonisation process, which later led to the attainment of freedom and independence by many countries and people and to the founding of tens of new sovereign states.
Throughout its history, NAM has played a fundamental role in preserving world peace and security.
The chairmanship of NAM will be built on three main priorities, among others increasing the effectiveness of the Movement to further enhance the reputation of the organisation on the global stage.
The other priorities are the promotion of the Bandung principles and the strengthening of the unity within the Movement.
A preparatory meeting of the high-ranking officials of the participating countries was held on October 21-22. The foreign ministers of the participating countries discussed the preparation for the summit on October 23-24.
The chairmanship in the meeting was handed over by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Alberto Arreaza to Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the participating countries.
The Youth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement was held in Baku on Oct 24.
The Non-Aligned Movement was created in 1961. One of the key principles for the establishment and operation of the Non-Aligned Movement is its role as a forum for cooperation among its members.
Baku, Oct 24 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived here on Thursday on a four-day official visit to Azerbaijan to attend the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
The two-day summit of NAM, a forum of 120 developing countries, will be held at Baku Congress Centre in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku on October 25-26.
A special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage landed at Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport at 9:10pm (local time).
Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ali Javad oglu Ahmadov and Bangladesh Ambassador to Turkey M Allama Siddiki received her at the airport.
After the reception at the airport, a ceremonial motorcade escorted the Prime Minister to Hilton Baku where she will be staying during her Azerbaijan tour.
Earlier, the flight of the national flag carrier took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka for Baku at 4pm.
On Friday morning, Sheikh Hasina will join the welcome ceremony of the 18th NAM Summit at Baku Congress Centre.
Along with other NAM leaders, the Bangladesh Prime Minister will attend the opening ceremony of the summit at the Plenary Hall of Baku Congress Centre.
She will later join the working luncheon for the heads of delegations at the Luncheon Hall of the centre, and the Plenary Session.
In the evening, Sheikh Hasina will attend the official reception to be hosted by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev at Heydar Aliyev Centre.
On Saturday, she will join the Plenary Session, the Working Luncheon for the heads of delegation and the Closing Ceremony of the summit.
The Prime Minister will attend dinner to be hosted at Hilton Baku by the Bangladesh Ambassador to Turkey who is concurrently accredited to Azerbaijan.
On the sidelines of the NAM Summit, the Prime Minister is expected to meet a number of heads of state or government, foreign ministry sources said.
Concluding her four-day visit to Azerbaijan, Hasina will depart Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport for home by a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines at 11 am (local time) on Sunday.
The flight is scheduled to reach Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 7:45pm (BST) the same day.
Dhaka, Oct 24 (UNB) - South East Asian Co-operation (SEACO) Foundation and World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation will jointly organise a roundtable discussion in the city on October 29 that will address the challenges and prospects of Islamic finance and sukuk.
The WIEF-SEACO Foundation Dhaka Roundtable 2019 with the theme, ‘Regional Collaboration: Transforming Economies’,) will also look into the future direction of the halal industry as well as opportunities for infrastructure development.
A sukuk is an Islamic financial certificate, similar to a bond in Western finance.
The final session at the roundtable will introduce SEACO, a regional partnership platform, which will link Bangladesh and the Maldives in the Bay of Bengal with selected Asean countries through various initiatives targeted to strengthen economic cooperation among these nations.
“SEACO trusts that the way to raise the socio economy of a community is through trade, investment, tourism and overall cooperation where national economies become more connected regionally, and financial institutions such as Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) could play a catalytic role under their Special Development Programme (SDP),” said Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Executive Chairman, SEACO Foundation and International Advisory Panel Member of WIEF Foundation, on Thursday.
He said with the steady growth the country is experiencing, they wish that the private and public sectors from South-South East Asian economies will have further understanding of Islamic finance and banking as an alternative to conventional banking, as well as financing infrastructure investment such as sukuk in the power, transport and social infrastructure sectors.
“We are delighted to partner with WIEF Foundation in this Roundtable, by inviting subject matter experts to share their experiences with the business community in Bangladesh,” Salahuddin added.
Chairman of WIEF Foundation Tun Musa Hitam said the WIEF is pleased to take the first step in this initiative by working together with SEACO Foundation at this Roundtable. “I believe this will help us build closer trade integration, stronger institutions and financial links in the region.”
Tun Musa said they are hoping to see the private sectors to take the lead and participate in the economic development in these countries.
Islamic Economy Enjoys Steady Growth
The WIEF Foundation Chairman said the governments could provide support, for instance, through a blend of official development assistance (ODA), government-to-government (G2G) funding, alongside private financing in infrastructure projects.
“With 1.8 billion Muslims, the Islamic economy continues to enjoy steady growth. In the case of Islamic finance, it is a burgeoning sector with assets estimated at US$2.4 trillion in 2017 and expected to surge to US$3.8 trillion by 2023. The non-speculative nature of shariah compliant finance can help to ensure financial stability, a reason why it is gaining traction globally,” added Tun Misa Hitam.
The growing demand for shariah compliant finance, coupled with various initiatives undertaken by a number of governments and regulatory bodies across Asia have fueled the growth of the industry.
It is estimated that the value of shariah compliant assets in Asia will reach US$3.8 trillion by 2023.
According to a report by Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asia Development Outlook (ADO) 2019, South Asia’s growth is projected to be 6.2 percent in 2019 and 6.7 percent in 2020.
FY2019, Bangladesh (ended 30 June 2019) outperformed ADO 2019 projections, with Bangladesh accelerating to 8.1 percent on robust private consumption and exports, production exceeding expectations in all sectors, most notably, agriculture.
As growth in the economy will likely remain strong, forecasts for FY2020 are retained, according to a joint media release.
Developing Asia will require investment of $26 trillion from 2016 to 2030, or $1.7 trillion per year, if the region is to maintain its growth momentum, eradicate poverty, and respond to climate change (climate-adjusted estimate).
Without climate change mitigation and adaptation costs, $22.6 trillion will be needed, or $1.5 trillion per year (baseline estimate).
Of the total climate-adjusted investment needs over 2016–2030, $14.7 trillion will be for transport, power, telecommunications, and water supply and sanitation.