Dhaka, July 11 (UNB)– US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller visited Barishal on July 9-11 to promote economic, cultural, and people to people ties between the United States and Bangladesh.
Ambassador Miller congratulated the Divisional Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Barishal District on commercial development in the region and expressed the US’ desire to continue supporting these efforts as a key development partner of Bangladesh.
They discussed US-Bangladeshi partnership addressing climate change and resilience, and natural disaster preparedness.
Ambassador Miller visited Bangladesh Betar’s Barishal regional office and met station management, journalists, and local folk artists.
In a radio interview, he emphasized the important cultural, economic, educational, and people to people ties between the United States and Bangladesh. He appreciates Bangladesh Betar’s important programming about health and family planning, agriculture, disaster preparedness, women empowerment and child development, sports, art, and Barishal’s unique cultural heritage. He recognized journalists and the important role free press plays in a successful democracy.
Ambassador Miller had the opportunity to experience some of the history of Barishal, visiting the Mia Bari Mosque, Oxford Mission Church, and Shanker Moth Temple. Throughout his visit he spoke of the importance of religious freedom and intercommunal harmony and highlighted the United States’ second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom being held in Washington, DC July 16-18.
He visited several local schools and madrasas and encouraged students to consider joining the 7,500 Bangladeshi students studying and succeeding at universities in the United States.
Ambassador Miller met a group of Barishal alumni who participated in U.S exchange programs and discussed how their experiences have influenced their professional and academic lives and inspired them to give back to their communities.
Dhaka, July 11 (UNB) - Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali has urged the Indian youths to join hands with their Bangladeshi counterpart in further fostering friendship and harmony between the two nations.
He was interacting with a group of Indian university students on the current status of India-Bangladesh relations at Bangladesh Mission in New Delhi on Thursday.
The discussion was organized by Confederation of Young Leaders (CYL), a platform of Indian youth, according to Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
Appreciating the youths as brand ambassadors of their country Syed Muazzem said, they must take lead in fostering the growing people-to-people contact between the two neighbours.
He underlined promotion of deeper exchanges, especially among the youths of the two countries, to enhance collective prosperity and well-being.
The envoy told the students that Bangladesh, with over 8 (eight) percent GDP, is emerging with confidence having met all the criteria to graduate from LDC to the status of a developing nation.
“We count on India’s assistance in boosting our success,” he said. “Together we would build cherished Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal) and that will be our best tribute to our martyrs and freedom fighters,” the veteran freedom fighter-turned diplomat told the young audience.
Describing the youths as the future leaders he advised them to be imbued with knowledge, innovation, courage and virtues of leadership. “Finally, be a good soul and shape yourself as a good human being,” he said.
About 20 youths took part in the meeting. CYL chairman Himadrish Suwan and its general secretary Vansh Saluja also spoke.
Dhaka, July 11 (UNB) - Queen Maxima concluded her three-day visit on Thursday conveying that Bangladesh appears well-positioned for a boost in technology-enabled financial inclusion with a growing economy and increasingly digitally-connected population.
The Dutch Queen and UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) visited Bangladesh to support inclusive finance in the country.
Throughout her discussions, Queen Maxima highlighted the need to embrace innovation to increase financial inclusion.
She noted the importance to develop an interoperable payments platform to enable easier, cheaper and real-time transactions between clients from different financial services providers.
The UNSGSA, who is scheduled to leave Dhaka at 4:25am on Friday, held meetings with President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
She also met other government officials, including Fazle Kabir, Governor at Bangladesh Bank, Mustafa Jabbar, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Dr Md Abdul Razzak, Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance, Abdur Rouf Talukder, Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, and Md Ashadul Islam, Secretary at the Financial Institutions Division of the Ministry of Finance.
The Special Advocate spoke to private sector leaders and development partners, as well as entrepreneurs, and financial services providers.
The UNSGSA visited the people who have benefitted from access to financial services due to an ambitious government program called Access to Information (a2i) that aims to make it easier for Bangladeshis to receive benefits, pay their bills, and buy and sell goods online.
Queen Maxima also spoke to clients of ShopUp, a Bangladesh-based fintech company that facilitates low-interest loans and provides a one-stop e-commerce and business management platform to entrepreneurs with small manufacturing and trading businesses.
Despite significant progress, half of adults in Bangladesh remain excluded from the formal financial system, either from a traditional bank or agent banking, according to UNDP.
This means, it said, many people in the country do not have access to the financial services needed to get ahead and protect themselves in hard times.
The UNSGSA said it could be helpful if the national ID system could further facilitate financial inclusion.
The Special Advocate also raised the importance of fostering digital and financial inclusion for women, including through the digitisation of wage payments in the garment industry.
She said engaging more female agents could be vital to reach female customers and this will require adjustments so that it is easier for women to become agents.
The Dutch Queen encouraged Bangladesh Bank (BB) to set up a regulatory innovation office to facilitate dialogue and regulatory clarity with providers of technology-enabled financial services.
The Special Advocate previously visited Bangladesh in 2015 in her capacity with the UN.
Dhaka, July 11 (UNB) - The World Bank has reaffirmed its continued support to Bangladesh to achieve the country’s vision of reaching an upper-middle income status through ensuring green growth.
“The World Bank remains committed to helping Bangladesh improve resilience and ensure climate-smart growth,” said World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva as concluded a two-day visit on Thursday.
She said climate change will make the threat of natural disasters more frequent and intense.
“The world can learn from Bangladesh’s adaptation and strong disaster-coping mechanisms. Their approach is working when we compare recent and past natural disasters: Cyclone Bhola in 1970 killed half a million people while last May Cyclone Fani, of similar strength caused less than 10,” Georgieva was quoted as saying in a media statement.
As a co-chair of the Third Executive Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) that took place in Dhaka on July 10, Georgieva commended Bangladesh for its leading role in adaptation and disaster preparedness, despite being among the countries most vulnerable to climate change.
Dealing with climate change is a development priority for Bangladesh.
With active community participation, the country has improved defensive measures, including early warning systems, cyclone shelters that double up as schools, evacuation plans, coastal embankments, reforestation schemes and increased awareness and communication.
The World Bank has supported these measures, which have reduced deaths in major storms.
On Wednesday, she met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and commended Bangladesh’s remarkable progress in economic development and poverty reduction.
They discussed the country’s development priorities, and how the bank can support them.
On Thursday, Georgieva visited a learning center, known as Ananda School that brings poor out-of-school children back to primary education.
The World Bank is supporting the government project that enrolled about 690,000 poor and out-of-school children, half of whom are girls, in Ananda Schools, which in Bengali means “school of joy”.
To cover the poorest slum children, the project has been expanded to 11 city corporations.
In Cox’s Bazar area, the programme is providing learning opportunities to Rohingya children and helping the dropped-out youths from the host community.
“I’m most impressed with the resilience of the people of Bangladesh and their determination for a better future for their children,” added Georgieva.
She said this has been the driving force that made Bangladesh become a low-middle income country from being one of the poorest nations at birth only within four decades.
Georgieva said the country also showed extreme generosity by providing shelter to about a million Rohingya population. “The World Bank stands by Bangladesh in its journey to an upper-middle income status.”
Dhaka, July 11 (UNB) – The government has extended the tenure of Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin by another year.
The Public Administration Ministry issued a gazette notification in this regard keeping his all the facilities unchanged as per the contractual appointment with the status of State Minister.
Ziauddin was appointed Bangladesh's envoy to the United States in June 2014 for three years and got extension for two more years in May 2017.
Prior to joining as Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA, he was Ambassador-at-Large of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the rank and status of State Minister.