Tokyo, May 30 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said Rohingya crisis is a lesson for other situations of crises in the region and elsewhere in the world to overcome chaos with the power of peace, humanity and development.
"We’ve sought dialogue and consensus over discord, even in the face of extreme provocation and crisis. We aren’t only responding to a humanitarian call, but we’re also aware about not allowing the crisis to escalate into chaos and regional instability,” she said.
The Prime Minister said is while delivering her keynote speech at the 25th International Nikkei Conference on Future of Asia at Imperial Hotel here with the theme 'Seeking a New Global order – Overcoming the Chaos'.
Sheikh Hasina said, “Despite our extreme limitations, we offered shelter to over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas as a responsible nation.”
She went on saying, "The future of the world lies in convergence of interests common to humanity. As a member of the global community, Bangladesh will continue to work with all friends and partners to ensure a stable and sustainable world order for our future generations."
Hasina pointed that the crisis is a lesson for other situations of crises in the region and globally to overcome chaos and discord with the power of peace, humanity and development.
She said it gives her hope to see that despite many challenges and hardships confronting globally, humans are kept expanding the frontiers of knowledge, opening new horizons to step beyond the realms of mother earth and move towards a true space age.
"Artificial intelligence and other technological marvels are complementing our abilities manifold to reach greater heights of human civilization," Hasina said.
Mentioning that human civilizations have suffered the horrors of war, and the scourges of nature, and yet flourished, the Prime Minister said: "I’m confident the daunting challenges that confront us now will ultimately produce a positive outcome through strong, rational and responsible leadership and through partnership among nations."
In this regard, she firmly said the power of humanity and positive forces is bound to prevail.
"The global community is looking up to us, the rising Asia, to innovate, aspire, and lead the world towards continued peace and prosperity," said the Prime Minister.
Despite positive experience, she said, the growing trend of trade protectionism has been seen in recent years. On the other hand, Asia has long been in support of liberalising trade and investment. Forthright, the protectionist move from many countries may eventually lead to a worldwide trade tension.
"It’s a simple economics that tariff rise will cause decline in GDP growth."
Hasina expected that Nikkei Forum will suggest how to strengthen the cooperation of Asian countries and how to deal with protectionism within multilateral trading regime.
Putting emphasis on UN system and multilateralism, Hasina said, “Our emphasis has always been to promote peace and progress that would directly benefit people. In a multi-polar world, we would strive to strengthen the UN system and multilateralism for all countries.”
Increasing close interdependence among economies in Asia and beyond will add further wealth to the economies and societies. Cross-border movement of goods and people cause exchange of a wide range of knowledge and experience and ideas, she added.
"It is the dynamism of connectivity that forms the cornerstone for peace and prosperity around the world. Infrastructure, free trade and liberal investment give foundation to Asian development."
She said the unprecedented levels of wealth and opportunity, rising life expectancy, greater access to education, falling infant mortality and reductions in absolute poverty on a scale which would once have been hard to imagine have been witnessed in the recent years.
The Prime Minister shared some of her ideas as one of the keynote speakers with the Asian leaders to make a better Asia.
"Today’s world is confronted with challenges and conflicts in many ways. We need to pledge to strengthen the world with greater openness, jointly address global challenges, safeguard fairness and justice and inject new impetus to cooperate using innovative ideas and measures."
Economies should take innovative practices surpassing alliances. Partnerships need to build on mutual trust and respect, common development and prosperity for a win-win strategy and to the benefit of people.
She said Asian countries need to cooperate with each other in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, equality, sharing benefits and joint contributions.
"Asia's future will depend on sustainable and balanced development, improving international order and establishing win-win international relations,” she said.
Laying emphasis on facing development challenges collectively, Hasina said, “We may pool together as a group to boost world peace and stability, promote a multi-polar world and protect legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.”
Terming private sector is the main engine of Bangladesh economy, Hasina said her government attaches utmost priority to private entrepreneurship and investments, both domestic and foreign.
She said Bangladesh has one of the most liberal foreign investment regimes in South Asia, which includes legal protection of foreign investment, generous tax policy schemes and concessionary duty on import of machinery.
"We also offer 100 percent foreign equity, unrestricted and full repatriation of dividend and capital on exit. We enjoy preferential access to most of the leading world markets, including the EU, Canada, and Japan. All these generate significant incentive for global investors, and we’re witnessing growing interest from foreign investors," she said.
During the question-answer session, Hasina said Bangladesh will welcome any ideas of investment in any sector by the Japanese investors.
The Nikkei Conference was also joined by Malaysian Prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Cambodian premier Hun Sen and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
Tokyo, May 29 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said Bangladesh always had Japan on its side as a trusted friend and partner in materialising the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
"In Bangladesh, we’re implementing a series of transformational development initiatives to realise the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to build Sonar Bangla or Golden Bangladesh. And in realising his dream, we always had Japan on our side as our trusted friend and partner," she said.
The Prime Minister said this while speaking at the official dinner hosted by her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at the latter’s residence in Tokyo.
Regarding the bilateral talks that took place earlier at the Japanese Prime Minister's Office, she said it was marked by deep cordiality, understanding and mutual respect.
"We’ve agreed to work together to promote deeper cooperation between our two countries. We’ve identified a number of new areas for collaboration. I’m confident those will provide a further impetus to our growing relations. We also witnessed the signing of 40th ODA loan package," she said.
On Wednesday morning, the Prime Minister said, she attended a meeting with the CEOs of leading Japanese companies who are doing business in Bangladesh.
She mentioned that she was greatly encouraged to see their clear desire to further expand collaboration and break new grounds. "This aspiration is also shared by our business leaders."
Sheikh Hasina said it is always a pleasure for her to be in Japan.
"Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, accompanied by my younger sister and youngest brother had visited Japan in 1973. They carried back fond memories of their visit and the love and affection they received from the people of Japan. Since then, every time I visited Japan, I’m reminded of that warm feelings and lasting impression Japan made on my beloved father and young siblings."
She also mentioned that in her childhood she kept all Japanese dolls, view cards, stamps, calendar, art and other things in her personal collection as treasures.
"I’ll keep all the sweet memories and warm friendly behaviour from last visits to this visit at the deep of my heart. I thank Japan for being with us always."
She invited Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife to visit Bangladesh at their convenient time.
Dhaka, May 29 (UNB) - President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday left here for New Delhi to join Indian Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s swearing-in event for his new term.
A special flight (BG 1513) of Bangladesh Biman Airlines carrying the President took off from Hazrat Shahajal International Airport at 5:30pm.
Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Deputy High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Bishwadip Dey, Cabinet Secretary, the chiefs of the three services, the dean of the diplomatic corps and high civil and military officials were present at the airport to see the President off.
Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of India and High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India will receive the President at the Palam Airport of New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was reelected with a thumping majority for a second term, will take oath at India’s Rashtrapati Bhavan at 7pm on Thursday (local time).
The oath-taking ceremony will be attended by leaders of Bimstec member countries. Bimstec or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation is a regional grouping of countries on the rim of the Bay of Bengal which include Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to meet President Abdul Hamid at Hyderabad House.
President Abdul Hamid will return home at 5pm on Friday.
Tokyo, May 29 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Wednesday discussed ways to find a durable and early solution to the humanitarian and political crisis that has emanated from the displacement of over a million Rohingya population from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
Hasina said Japan understands that the solution to this crisis lies in the early, safe and dignified return of this displaced people to their homeland of Myanmar.
She said it is necessary for Myanmar to create conducive atmosphere in Rakhine State of Myanmar for the return of the displaced people.
"I thank the Japanese government for its generous support to handle the crisis, and for its efforts to support early repatriation of the displaced people to Myanmar,” Hasina said.
Hasina and Abe reiterated their commitment to take Bangladesh-Japan relations to new a height of cooperation and partnership.
"I’m confident we’ll achieve that much more given the excellent understanding and friendship that exist between our two peoples and our governments," said Hasina while delivering her statement at a joint press meet.
Sheikh Hasina and Abe witnessed the signing of 40th ODA Loan Package of US dollar 2.5 billion to develop infrastructure and promote investment in Bangladesh.
Hasina thanked Abe for this loan package.
Hasina said they have also decided to strengthen mutual cooperation in international platforms to fight against terrorism and violent extremism, mitigating risk emanating from climate change, ensuring denuclearisation to keep children safe and extending support to each other’s efforts to expand the horizon of peace and knowledge.
She said Japan occupies a very special place in the hearts of the people of Bangladesh. "The level of commitment that Japan has been showing since our independence in 1971 is truly remarkable."
Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamt of making Bangladesh a prosperous nation and his vision of development was greatly influenced by the development history of Japan.
"After more than 48 years since our independence in 1971, we can now confidently say we’re moving in the right direction to fulfill that dream. And it’s reassuring to have Japan by our side always," she said.
Hasina said she and Abe discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and agreed on several new ideas to enhance and strengthen the level of cooperation between our two countries.
She said Bangladesh has achieved all the criteria to graduate from the least developed country to developing one and they have set their goal to become a developed country by 2041.
"Prime Minister Abe has assured me that Japan will stand by Bangladesh and extend necessary support to reach that goal," she said.
The two leaders have agreed to explore all possible areas where two countries can find mutually beneficial outcomes.
"Our discussion was greatly focused on enhancing regional connectivity to harness the full potentials of the countries and improving physical infrastructure would be a critical factor to establish effective connectivity," Hasina said.
She said Prime Minister Abe has assured her that Japan will continue to provide assistance to realize that target.
"Considering the importance of developing the Southeast of Bangladesh, we’ve discussed ideas to build quality infrastructures in that region," Hasina said.
"We believe that international trade and flow of investment are key channels to strengthen economic cooperation. We have put special emphasis on regional stability and peace," she added.
Hasina said it is always a pleasure to be here in this beautiful country. "I’m particularly delighted to be here at the advent of the new era, Reiwa, ushering in beautiful harmony."
She extended her warmest felicitations to Emperor Naruhito, Members of the Imperial Family and the Japanese people on the joyous occasion of his enthronement.
"I’m deeply moved by the hospitality that the government of Japan has extended to me and my delegation. My sincere thanks to all the officials of Japan who worked very hard to make my visit smooth and comfortable," she added.
Tokyo, May 29 (UNB) - Bangladesh and Japan on Wednesday signed their 40th ODA deal involving US$ 2.5 billion for implementing four projects to bolster ties between the two countries.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi signed the ODA deal on behalf of their respective sides.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe witnessed the signing at his office.
Four projects, taken under the 40th Official Development Assistance (ODA) package deal, are Matarbari Port Development Project (1), Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line 1), Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Project (II) and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Promotion Financing Project (Phase 2).
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office and held a bilateral meeting with her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
Sheikh Hasina was given guard of honour when she reached the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office.
Briefing reporters, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina put emphasis on developing the Bangladesh-Japan relations to a “strategic level”.
She also sought cooperation in extracting gas hydrate from seabed.
Both the Prime Ministers promised to work together against terrorism and violent extremism, both at the national and international levels.
Sheikh Hasina urged the Japanese Prime Minister to take skilled manpower from Bangladesh as they introduced a new immigration law.
She proposed opening a skill development institute in Bangladesh and taking trained manpower from Bangladesh.
Abe responded very positively in this regard and said officials of the two counties will talk over the matter and decide, said the Foreign Secretary.
Hasina invited her Japanese counterpart to attend the “Mujib Borsho” to be celebrated in 2020 and Abe accepted the invitation saying he will consider positively.
Japan will contest the UN Security Council election which will be held 2022, and Bangladesh will help it in this regard.
Japan also extended its support to Bangladesh candidate for the post of Deputy Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Bangladesh nominated Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque to contest the post earlier.
PM's speech writer Md Nazrul Islam was present during the briefing.