Dhaka, April 19 (UNB) - Bangladesh has placed six proposals to make the multilateral trading system more effective recognizing importance of multilateral trading system for sustainable development.
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Md Nojibur Rahman placed the recommendations at the high-level thematic panel discussion titled ‘trade, science, technology, innovation and capacity building’ of the 4th ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FFD) at the UN Headquarters on Thursday.
Sofie Maddens, Head, Regulatory Market Environment Division, ITU and Miho Shirotori, Chief, Global & Regional Trade Analysis Section, UNCTAD were the other panelists of the event.
The Principal Secretary said the international community must promote a universal, rule-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system.
Implementation of the WTO Ministerial decisions is vitally important for the promotion of trade, he said.
Second, according to NojiburRahman, it is imperative for the WTO to address the current challenges faced by the international trading system, according to a press release.
“It needs to be ensured that development remains at the front and center of the multilateral trading system,” he said.
Sharing his third recommendation NojiburRahman said issues such as trade barriers, trade-distorting subsidies, and other trade-distorting measures must be addressed.
According to his 4th proposal, the Doha Development Agenda aiming at addressing the systemic imbalances in the multilateral trading system need to be concluded.
Besides, his 5th proposal is digital platforms and fintech can help strengthen trade financing for MSMEs.
Finally, he said ‘Aid for trade’ support should be increased for the capacity building, diversification, value addition and integration of the low income countries into the global value chains.
Highlighting different steps taken by Bangladesh in the use of technology-innovation, digital economy and e-commerce, the Principal Secretary saidBangladesh, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is making inroads into a digital society to reap the potentials of e-commerce.
“This was possible as we laid an essential foundation for a technology-driven and skills-based digital economy,” he said.
The Principal Secretary also referred to the UNCTAD e-Trade Readiness Assessment that recognized Bangladesh’s bright prospect in e-commerce and equitable distribution of the benefits of it throughout the economy because of its remarkable progress in telecommunications infrastructure, trade logistics, payment solutions, laws and regulations, skills development, and financing.
Mentioning that the developing and the least developed countries have started the e-commerce only recently, the Principal Secretary said to reap the benefits of e-commerce and to minimize the risks, and also to gain people’s confidence, countries will have to address the barriers to business from an ‘ecosystem perspective.
He said the new 4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) tools such as automation, 3D Printing, Artificial Intelligence, should be aligned with the expansion of the e-commerce because still some countries remain at the 2IR or 3IR level.
He stressed on full realization of Sustainable Development Goal target 17.12 which calls for ‘duty-free and quota-free’ market access for all least developed countries and transparent and simple rules of origin.
Nojibur Rahman along with other panelists discussed several issues such as the steps needed to recognize the multilateral trading system for sustainable development, the equitable distribution of trade benefits, impacts of emerging trends in technology, including in e-commerce on the global landscape for trade etc.
The representatives of different member states, civil society organizations and other stakeholders mentioned Bangladesh’s indomitable success in their interventions which significantly attracted the audience.
The forum ended through the adoption of the intergovernmentally agreed outcome document.
Dhaka, April 18 (UNB) - State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Zakir Hossen and USAID Bangladesh Mission Director Derrick Brown jointly inaugurated a new multi-purpose cyclone shelter in Mirzaganj Upazila of Patuakhali district on Thursday.
This new cyclone shelter, located at the UttorJhati Bunia Government Primary School, can accommodate approximately 1,800 people during a cyclone and will provide classroom space to 180 students.
The project was managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.
“The US is proud to support and continue our history of partnering with the Bangladeshi government to tackle important initiatives,” said the USAID Mission Director.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the US government’s lead international development agency, continues to work closely with its many partners to mitigate the impact of natural disasters in Bangladesh, said a press release.
The USAID mission in Bangladesh funds construction and maintenance of multi-purpose flood and cyclone shelters throughout the country, as well as wave protection walls and earthen embankments, to reduce flood damage.
Since 2001, USAID, in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh, has constructed over 500 cyclone shelters in coastal areas of Bangladesh with the capacity to protect 900,000 people during severe weather.
These cyclone shelters now serve as safe havens during floods, cyclones and other natural disasters, USAID said.
The US Government, through USAID, has provided more than $7 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since 1971.
In 2018, USAID provided $218 million in development assistance to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh through programs that expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resiliency to climate change.
Dhaka, Apr 18 (UNB) – Bangladesh and Brunei are likely to sign seven MoUs during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s three-day official visit to its capital Bandar Seri Begawan on April 21-23.
Six of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) will be signed to strengthen cooperation in the areas of agriculture, arts and culture, youth and sports, fisheries, livestock and energy sectors while another MoU is yet to be finalized.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said this while briefing reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Prime Minister’s visit to Brunei.
Secretary-Bilateral, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kamrul Ahsan and Secretary, Maritime Affairs Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd) Md. Khurshed Alam were also present.
He said the visit will help expand bilateral cooperation in a number of areas including trade, investment, energy, human resource development, tourism, agriculture and technical cooperation apart from strengthening the existing friendly relations between the two countries.
The Foreign Minister said the visit will also help improve Bangladesh’s relations with Southeast Asian nations through boosting effective cooperation. Brunei is one of the member states of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
He said the visit will help Bangladesh gain effective support from Brunei and other Southeast Asian nations on various regional and international important issues including resolving Rohingya crisis.
The Prime Minister leaves here for Brunei Darussalam on Sunday at the invitation of Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah.
She will leave Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Sunday morning.
The Prime Minister will be received by Crown Prince of Brunei Darussalam Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah at Brunei International Airport, according to her programme schedule.
After an official welcoming ceremony, she will be escorted to Empire Hotel & Country Club where she will be staying during her visit, according to the schedule.
On Sunday, she will attend a community event and join a dinner to be hosted by High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Brunei at the Empire Hotel.
On Monday, the Prime Minister will have a general audience with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddinWaddaulah and the Royal Family at Istana NurulIman, the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei.
She will then hold bilateral talks with the Sultan there before the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs).
Sheikh Hasina will open the meeting of leaders of Bangladesh Business Community and Brunei Business Community and Brunei National Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the place of her residence on Monday afternoon.
The Prime Minister will later visit the Jame Asr Mosque and offer Asr prayers there.
She will go to the Istana NurulIman Palace again to attend official Banquet.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister will attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of new chancery building of Bangladesh High Commission at the Diplomatic Enclave in Jalankebangsaan.
Then she will visit the Royal Regalia Museum located in the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, capital of Brunei.
The Prime Minister will leave the Brunei International Airport for Dhaka by a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Tuesday afternoon.
Dhaka, Apr 17 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has termed the participation of Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed as a ‘star campaigner’ for the Trinamool Congress in the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal as ‘unfortunate’, even if he campaigned for his friend there.
At the same time, the Foreign Minister found the reaction from Indians as ‘too strong’.
He made the remarks while talking to reporters before a function at a city hotel on Wednesday evening.
The 45-year-old actor returned home on Tuesday after his visa was revoked, as he had violated his visa conditions.
Ferdous has also regretted his participation in the campaign and sought apology for what he termed his "unintentional mistake."
Dhaka, Apr 17 (UNB) - Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi observed the historic Mujibnagar Day on Wednesday in a befitting manner.
On this day in 1971 the first government of independent Bangladesh was sworn in at Baidyanathtala (Mujibngar) in now-Meherpur district naming Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the president, Syed Nazrul Islam as vice-president and Tajuddin Ahmad as the prime minister.
Syed Nazrul was made acting president in absence of Bangabandhu who was arrested and jailed in a West Pakistan prison.
The significance of the role the provisional government of Bangladesh played in leading the nine-month War of Liberation and mobilising international opinion and support was discussed at a meeting held at the mission.
High Commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali, a freedom fighter diplomat, presided over the discussion meeting, said the High Commission.
“The Liberation War stands out as the most glorious chapter in the history of our independence struggle against Pakistan,” said the envoy.
“This has been our pride and I feel proud to be associated with this unforgettable part of our history,” he said.
Muazzem Ali paid tributes to Bangabandhu, the greatest Bangalee of all times, the four national leaders -- Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, Capt. Mansur Ali and AHM Kamruzzaman.
The discussion was addressed among others by Brig Gen AK Mohammad Ziaur Rahman, defence adviser, Selim Jahangir, minister (consular), Jamal Uddin Ahmed, counsellor and Zakir Ahmed, first secretary.
The messages issued by President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the occasion of the Mujibnagar Day were read out respectively by Dr AKM Atiqul Haque, counsellor (commerce) and Shahed bin Aziz, first secretary.
A special prayer was offered for the progress and development of the country.