Dhaka, June 13 (UNB) - Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said bilateral discussions between Bangladesh and Myanmar have been continuing to ensure safe, dignified and permanent repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland.
While placing the budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 on Thursday, he said discussions are going on as per the directions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The displaced Rohingyas, who escaped from Myanmar to save their lives in the face of torture, oppression and ethnic cleansing, have been given shelter in Bangladesh as a humanitarian gesture, he said.
The Finance Minister said Bangladesh has been providing all necessary physical support services, including food, housing, health and other emergency services, to over 1.1 million Rohingyas.
He said Bangladesh has been efficiently doing massive work of providing health and other emergency services including provisioning of residential facilities, supply of drinking water, installation of sanitary latrines and building roads for the Rohingya refugee population.
Dhaka, June 13 (UNB)— Bangladesh has strongly condemned the missile attack targeting Abha International Airport of Saudi Arabia by the Houthi rebels.
The attack left 26 civilians injured, including several women and children.
While expressing sincere sympathy to the victims and praying for their quick recovery, Bangladesh also expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia in the face of such aggression.
Bangladesh remains steadfastly committed to any collective effort for the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
Dhaka, June 13 (UNB)— Bangladesh has shared the existing problems regarding the Rohingya issue with the UN and informed it about Myanmar's non-cooperation in starting the repatriation.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam conveyed these to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at a bilateral meeting on Rohingya issue and the celebration of birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in New York.
The UN chief expressed deep concern over the delay in Rohingya repatriation, Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN said in a statement on June 11 (local time).
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.2 million Rohingyas who are living in camps in Cox's Bazar. Most of them came here after Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown targeting the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority in the pretext of a ‘clearance operation’ on August 25, 2017.
State Minister Alam briefed Guterres about the latest situation.
Meanwhile in Dhaka, the government urged the international community to increase pressure on Myanmar so that it creates a congenial environment for safe and dignified repatriation of the Rohingyas.
Briefing diplomats stationed in Dhaka on Wednesday morning, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen strongly protested the fabricated remarks and disinformation spread by Myanmar officials.
He presented relevant facts and arguments to invalidate Myanmar’s allegations and also to expose Nay Pyi Taw’s disrespect to its obligations and commitments.
“We sincerely want Myanmar to take back its citizens. But Myanmar has repeatedly been breaching its promises," said Dr Momen.
The repatriation was initially scheduled to begin in January last year but later the date was shifted to November 15. However, it is yet to happen.
Shahriar Alam also informed Guterres about steps to put Myanmar’s accountability issue over Rohingya crisis before the International Court.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) recently called upon the ad hoc ministerial committee to take immediate measures to launch the case of Myanmar's human rights violations against Rohingyas at the International Court of Justice on behalf of the OIC.
State Minister Alam requested the participation of the UN head and UN as a body in the celebration of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary and golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
Guterres lauded Bangladesh’s progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He thanked Bangladesh’s government and its people for their generosity and humanitarian assistance in the Rohingya issue.
He also praised Bangladesh for its active participation in climate issues, saying that the UN is looking forward to Bangladesh’s active and fruitful participation in the ensuing Climate Action Summit.
The UN chief thanked Bangladesh for its outstanding contribution to UN peacekeeping mission.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen were present in the bilateral meeting.
State Minister Alam also spoke to Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations. Alam informed him about Prime Minister Hasina’s commitment to ensuring world peace and security.
Lacroix praised Bangladesh’s continuous participation and progress in UN peacekeeping mission. He requested Alam to cooperate and contribute to UN head’s action for peacekeeping agenda.
Alam informed Lacroix that Bangladesh will continue its women empowerment and be a ‘champion country’ in UN head’s action for peacekeeping agenda.
The state minister also requested him to appoint high level officers in peacekeeping operations from Bangladesh.
Kunming (Yunnan), June 12 (UNB) - Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said here on Wednesday that the government is putting in efforts to turn Bangladesh into an important manufacturing hub in Asia and urged the countries, including China, to avail themselves of the massive investment opportunities.
"Bangladesh is now considered as a miracle of development. It has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world," he told global audience at the inaugural ceremony of a grand trade and investment fair.
China wants to impress the world with a practical move to serve and integrate into the ‘Belt and Road’ through the 2019 South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair (SSACEIF). The mega expo will continue till June 18.
The Commerce Minister said the foreign investors can take the advantage of investment in Bangladesh in a number of sectors like shipbuilding, agro-processing, ICT, infrastructure development and tourism.
The minister expressed happiness saying SSACEIF is attracting ever greater attention to South and Southeast Asia.
"This grand expo is providing a huge platform to the private businesses investment opportunities. We hope it’ll contribute meaningfully to bring the peoples and economies of these regions closer," said Minister Tipu Munshi.
He said Bangladesh exported US$ 41 billion worth of goods and services in 2018 and has planned to raise it to $60 billion by 2021.
To achieve the goals, the Commerce Minister said, the government is setting up 100 economic zones across the country.
He said Bangladesh is setting up one special economic zone - Chinese Industrial Economic Zone - for Chinese investors in Chattogram.
The mega exposition, being held at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Center, is featuring 17 pavilions and 7,500 booths, including the Belt and Road Investment and Cooperation pavilion, the green energy pavilion and the forest ecological products pavilion on a total exhibition area of 170,000 square metres.
The BRI and Cooperation Pavilion aims to build an efficient communication platform for investors, and comprehensively demonstrate Yunnan's advantages in terms of opening up, development and opportunities under the BRI.
India is occupying the largest number of booths -- 240 -- demonstrating growing engagement between China and India on trade and investment front. Bangladesh set 19 stalls in the fair.
About 600 billion yuan of projects are expected to be signed at the fair this year with about 2.6 billion yuan foreign-fund projects, organisers said.
There are mainly six exhibition areas -- thematic, Southeast Asia, South Asia, international, domestic and never ending CSA Expo.
For the first time, the BRI Investment Cooperation Pavilion, Green Energy Pavilion, Forest Eco Products Pavilion and the Digital Yunnan Exhibition Area are set up in the fair venue.
Some 3,348 enterprises from 73 countries, regions and international organisations, business leaders, experts and scholars as well as about 167 representatives from ministries and local governments are attending the fair.
The theme of this year's fair is ‘Gather at the Opening-up Frontier Together, Build the Radiation Center Together and Share Prosperity and Development Together’.
It continues to adopt the theme country and host country mechanism.
This year's theme country is Sri Lanka and the host country is Cambodia.
Dhaka, June 12 (UNB) - Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Paulette Lenert on Wednesday termed the Rohingya crisis a ‘liability for all’ and assured to extend continued support for a durable and peaceful solution to it.
He met Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at the State Guest House Padma and discussed the issue.
Secretary (Bilateral and Consular), Director General (West Europe and EU) and Director (Foreign Minister’s Office) were present at the meeting.
The Luxembourg Minister was accompanied by a five-member delegation.
Welcoming the delegation, Foreign Minister Momen thanked the Luxembourg minister for visiting Bangladesh, particularly the Rohingya Camps in Cox’s Bazar.
He also thanked the government of Luxembourg for its support, including humanitarian assistance, for the Rohingyas.
Citing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s generosity in hosting a large Rohingya community in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Foreign Minister urged international community, particularly Luxembourg, to mount pressure on Myanmar authorities to take sincere and visible steps to create “conducive environment” in Rakhine State so that Rohingyas can go back to their ancestral homes in Myanmar in safety and security.
He also urged the international community to take decisive steps to ensure accountability of the atrocities committed against Rohingyas.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen encouraged exchange of business and trade delegations between the two countries to explore the untapped business and investment opportunities in Bangladesh.
He called upon the Development Cooperation Minister for bilateral cooperation focusing on private sector development, including skills/SMEs leading to creating mutually beneficial economic and business partnerships for both countries.
Referring to Luxembourg’s globally acclaimed financial services sector, the Bangladesh Foreign Minister urged the Luxembourg Minister to encourage their financial services companies to establish business with and in Bangladesh.
Citing Bangladesh’s favorable “geo-strategic location” in Asia, the Luxembourg Minister expressed interest about establishing “logistics services” facilities between Bangladesh and Luxembourg.
In that context, she urged early conclusion of the ‘Air Services Agreement’ between Bangladesh and Luxembourg.
She offered to extend “sustainable finance” for Bangladesh’s journey towards achieving 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
With a view to making the existing bilateral relations deeper and wider, Bangladesh Foreign Minister urged the Luxembourg authorities to establish a resident diplomatic mission in Dhaka or at least designate the Embassy of Luxembourg in New Delhi to be concurrently accredited to Bangladesh.
Currently, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Dhaka looks after official business on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg.
The Luxembourg Minister and her entourage are scheduled to visit Rohingya Camps in Cox’s Bazar later in the day.
On Tuesday, the delegation visited Savar, Gaibandha and Kurigram to see development projects funded by the government of Luxembourg.
Foreign Minister Momen appreciated Luxembourg for their assistance in the development of Bangladesh through NGOs like CARITAS.