Dhaka, Apr 18 (UNB) – Indian School of Business (ISB) is keen to partner with Bangladeshi business, academic and public institutions to help enhance their capacity to accomplish tasks in a smarter way.
The ISB, a top ranking institution on the global stage, is also interested to provide training to Bangladesh Railways officials together with Indian ones to develop their management expertise and turn the sector here into a profitable one using the best practices of the neighbouring country.
In an interview with UNB recently at a city hotel, ISB Dean Prof Rajendra Srivastava and its External Relations Director DNV Kumara Guru also said they are looking for a suitable academic institution here for jointly holding an annual Bangladesh-India Business Dialogue to bring people from government offices, industries, media, universities and other stakeholders and policymakers of the two countries together and share their experiences.
“I don’t think it’s enough to work hard. We’ve to work smarter to have an outstanding success. That’s one of the things ISB is trying to do with its programmes. We want to work closely with our neighbours in the subcontinent towards that goal,” Prof Srivastava said.
ISB External Relations Director DNV Kumara Guru
He said India and Bangladesh can learn many things from each other by sharing their best practices, and ISB is eager to work as a platform for it.
Prof Srivastava said they are now focusing on how they can learn from Bangladesh and contribute towards exploring the areas of cooperation. “So, we’re on a learning journey.”
He said ISB started its journey with Indian private sector 18 years back and earned overwhelming global reputation.
“For the last 5-6 years, we started working closely with the government. We’ve programmes on public policy where we bring very senior officials like joint secretaries and deputy secretaries and other officials and we get them work with the private sector over many issues relating to infrastructure development, healthcare, energy and even agriculture and agriculture supply chain,” the ISB Dean said.
He said it would be a wonderful example in the public policy programme if some Bangladeshi officials join it together with Indian ones.
Though Bangladesh economy is growing with 8 percent GDP, Prof Srivastava said, it lacks skilled manpower at management level where ISB can play a role in addressing the problem.
Kumara Guru said their idea to get engaged with the community in Bangladesh is primarily through industries. “We started this engagement with Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).”
Besides, he said, some of their ex-students like Kedar Lele, managing director and CEO of Unilever Bangladesh, is encouraging them in building partnership with business institutions here.
“But, ISB can also be a place for young Bangladeshis who are looking for executive management education to fulfill their career aspirations,” said Guru.
He said they have also some sort of engagement with some educational institutions, including Asian University for Women in Chattogram, North South University and Brac University. “But these are very few.”
The ISB director said they are keen to introduce student exchange programmes with Bangladeshi educational institutions.
He said they also want to have government level engagement and are working closely in this regard with the Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi and Indian High Commission here.
Guru said ISB is a preferred school for students and a preferred destination for business institutions who want to send their senior officials for up-scaling and short-term training programme also for government servants who want to understand business and understand management.
He said they are currently engaged with Unilever Bangladesh to get some of its executives to send to ISB for training. “We want more engagement of Bangladeshi companies and that’s one of the reasons we conducted a master’s class in Dhaka on Thursday where about 180 senior executives from 50 industries and corporate houses took part.”
Guru said they work extensively with the Indian Railways and all of its regional managers and their top senior officials get training from ISB in phases. “So, the same programme with some customisation can be offered here, and Bangladesh Railways officials and their Indian counterparts can join the same classroom together to learn from each other and exchange their experiences to solve problems.”
Dhaka, April 17 (UNB) - Japan has laid emphasis on safe, voluntary repatriation of Rohingyas with dignity under the cooperation of the United Nations (UN) noting that there is no “enough” support for them.
“We’ve tremendous tasks to help the displaced people and assist the affected host community. At the same time, it’s of utmost importance to realise their safe, voluntary repatriation with dignity,” Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi told UNB in an interview.
More than 745,000 Rohingya people have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State to Bangladesh since August 2017, escaping violence in Myanmar. Bangladesh is currently hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya people.
He said they support Bangladesh’s efforts to realise such repatriation “peacefully through negotiation” with Myanmar.
“We would like to continue our support to the government of Bangladesh to address this difficult situation,” said the Japanese Ambassador.
Under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said, Bangladesh has been accepting and supporting a huge number of displaced people from Myanmar.
“We highly respect this humanitarian decision. There’re still a lot to be done both for the displaced people and the host community, and therefore there’s not enough support for them,” said the Japanese Ambassador.
So far, he said, the government of Japan has provided US$ 82.9 million grant-aid through international organizations such as United Nations and Japanese NGOs.
In addition to this assistance, JICA is also working in the field of health sector, water supply, disaster-risk management and support programme for the host community through municipal government, he said.
On February 15 in Geneva, United Nations aid agencies and NGO partners launched the JRP for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis seeking US$ 920 million to meet the massive needs.
The 2018 JRP was funded at 69 per cent, or US$ 655 million received against US$ 950 million requested.
Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to start repatriating the first group of Rohingyas on November 15 last year but it was halted due to the absence of conducive environment in their place of origin in Rakhine.
Mentioning that the forcibly displaced Rohingya people from Myanmar are putting a considerable stress on Bangladesh’s development, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, now in New York, emphasised on their sustainable repatriation to their homeland.
While addressing the general debate of the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) Forum on Financing for Development (FFD) at the UN Headquarters on Monday, also urged the international community to come forward for the permanent solution to this crisis.
Origami paper cranes with peace message
One thousand origami paper cranes folded by hundreds of Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar flew to Hiroshima and conveyed their wishes and messages for peace to Japanese people. It will be displayed in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
Japanese Ambassador Hiroyasu Izumi and Representative of UNHCR in Japan Diek Hebecker on Tuesday handed the colorful one thousand origami cranes dedicatedly folded by displaced persons who fled from Myanmar to Vice Mayor of Hiroshima City Shiro Tani.
Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar made one thousand origami paper cranes, praying for peace, according to Japanese Embassy in Dhaka.
They heard about the tragedy of atomic bombing in Hiroshima that killed many people at once in 1945, and a story of Sadako Sasaki who passed away at the age of 12, due to after-effect of atomic bombing.
"These people from Myanmar were forcibly placed in the most difficult situation, yet they feel compassion to other people who faced difficulties. Such sympathy they showed and wish for peace are more precious than anything else," said Ambassador Izumi.
He hoped that many Japanese people will learn more about the cruel situation they are facing and feel compassion towards them.
Dhaka, April 16 (UNB) - Japanese Ambassador in Dhaka Hiroyasu Izumi has said the Special Economic Zone for Japanese investors in Bangladesh and the One Stop Service Act are likely to attract more Japanese companies, especially in the fields of food, commodity products, light industry and ICT.
“Since the year 2008, the investment from Japan to Bangladesh has been expanding and the trend is getting stronger, especially after 2011,” he told UNB in an interview.
This trend, Ambassador Izumi said, is likely to continue for the coming years considering the competitive labour force and the size of the market of Bangladesh with its huge young population.
He, however, said the investment climate and doing business in Bangladesh “are not very favourable” for foreign companies.
Not only the time-consuming process of applying for launching businesses and registration, but also lack of sufficient infrastructure, intricate process of applying for working VISA, and complicated tax system, including retroactive taxation, could be named as main bottlenecks to start business in Bangladesh, he said.
In particular, Ambassador Izumi said, the insufficiency in logistics and taxation system such as “too heavy tariffs” need to be addressed.
“They’re not only the hindrances for FDI from Japan but also causing drawbacks to the growth of local economy in Bangladesh,” he said.
Analysing the current situation of the foreign companies and listening to their requests are essential to make the overall investment-environment more attractive, said Ambassador Izumi.
Responding to a question, the Japanese envoy said surrounded on all sides by the sea, Japan is also deeply rooted in blue economy and has a long history of utilisation of marine resources.
“I, therefore, believe Japan and Bangladesh can exchange knowledge and expertise in blue economy and marine resources,” he said.
The conference was co-organised in March by the Ministry of Fisheries & Livestock and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the envoy said adding, ”Bangladesh Blue Economy Dialogue on Fisheries and Marine culture” was quite suggestive and meaningful.”
“We would like to consider future cooperation in the field of blue economy with the government of Bangladesh,” said the Ambassador.
Asked about Bangladesh’s export to Japan, he said in Japan they are seeing more and more clothes manufactured in Bangladesh, but Japanese people are not very much aware that they are made in Bangladesh.
“To further encourage export from Bangladesh to Japan, I believe it is very important for Bangladesh companies to conduct thorough market research in Japan, especially focusing on the quality-oriented tendency of the Japanese consumers,” said the Japanese envoy.
Other potential export from Bangladesh to Japan, he thinks, could be medicine, leather goods or agricultural (marine) products.
“For any product, however, creating additional value that attracts Japanese consumer is the key to expand and boost exports to Japan from Bangladesh,” said the Ambassador.
To do so, he suggested having more opportunities to introduce Bangladeshi products in Japan, such as organising trade fairs or exhibitions, to make them familiar to Japanese consumers.
Responding to a question on people-to-people contact, he said friendship between Japan and Bangladesh started immediately after the independence of Bangladesh. “Since then, the two nations have always been very close friends.”
For example, the Ambassador said, Japan has been providing scholarship for more than 4,000 Bangladeshi students for decades.
Last year alone, more than 120 students received this scholarship and went to Japan from Bangladesh. Also in the field of business, there are currently more than 260 Japanese companies operating their businesses in Bangladesh, and interaction through business is also growing in a fast pace.
Dhaka, Tokyo plan big for 2022
The year 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Japan.
“The coming years will be very important for our two countries. Toward this anniversary, we’re working hard to enhance our bilateral relations even further,” said the Japanese Ambassador.
In celebration of this anniversary, Bangladesh and Japan are expecting to see more and more interaction between the two countries, including cultural and people-to-people exchanges in the years to come.
The Ambassador said several cooperation projects were launched with the successful mutual visits by the two Prime Ministers -- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe -- in 2014.
“Apart from bridges, we’re working on other projects like the Dhaka Int’l Airport Terminal, Dhaka Metro Lines, and Matarbari port and power plant, and all these projects are going well as planned with high quality. It’s my tremendous joy to celebrate this anniversary with the people of Bangladesh based on this ever-growing relation,” he said.
Since his arrival in 2017, Ambassador Izumi said he has been witnessing an increasing number of visits both at ministerial and other levels. “I expect our bilateral relationship to grow even closer and stronger in the years to come.”
He said Japan has been the single biggest bilateral development partner for Bangladesh and the amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Bangladesh from Japan last year marked US$ 1.8 billion.
“This figure was a record, the largest-ever Japanese ODA support to Bangladesh for one year. I’m pleased to inform you that Bangladesh is now the second largest recipient of Japan’s ODA in the world,” he said.
Chandpur, Apr 15 (UNB) - ‘Balu Char’, popularly known as mini-Cox’s Bazar for its sandy nature and scenic beauty’, could be turned into an attractive tourist spot by developing it with modern facilities.
This char (shoal) has emerged barely six years back on the western bank of the Meghna River near the district town, and it has great potentials, said boatmen at Railway River Ghat.
While visiting ‘Balu Char’ recently, the UNB correspondent found it as a big sandy char land having a riverbank of half kilometre. The char area is nearly 5-kilometre long while its width is about one kilometre. The sandy char is becoming bigger and bigger day by day as another new char (shoal) is emerging just beside it.
It takes only 10 minutes for one to go to the char by engine-driven trawlers from Chandpur Boro Railway Station Ghat.
Every day -- especially during holidays -- picnickers, hundreds of men, women and children of Chandpur town, and also from far-off places like Hajiganj, Shahrasti, Cumilla, Roypur, Ramganj, Faridganj and Matlab throng this sandy char to enjoy its sea beach-like beauty.
This has turned out to be very popular among children and jubilant youths as they can make fun with waters and waves of the mighty river.
Despite its natural beauty, the char still lacks basic facilities and necessary safety arrangements for tourists.
Visitors face problems here for the absence of good sitting arrangements and refreshment facilities.
Though a few chairs with umbrellas are found there under private arrangements on payment basis (Tk 50 per chair for an hour), those are not enough to fulfill the demand of visitors.
Mehdi Hasan, 24, a resident of Tongi, Gazipur, told the UNB correspondent that he came here after hearing about its beauty. “It’s really nice, there’s no doubt. But, I’m sorry to say the facilities are too inadequate to attract visitors,” he said.
Many other visitors like Mahfuzur Rahman of Sonaimuri, Noakhali echoed the same sentiment.
They alleged that their journeys to and from the tourist spot get riskier when trawler drivers overload their trawlers as there is no one to monitor. They even charge fares whimsically, they further alleged.
Contacted, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Md Shawkat Osman said Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni has already directed the Public Health Engineering Department to set up ‘Wash Block’, install tube-wells there.
He said the authorities concerned have also been directed to raise the Balu Char by dumping sands so that it can be turned into an attractive tourist spot in near future.
Some local residents, however, said if the char gets bigger it may shrink the rivers and obstruct the natural flow of waters at the confluence of the three rivers – Meghna, Padma and Dakatia.
Dhaka, Apr 14 (UNB)- Bangladesh Hockey Federation is finally going to have its much-awaited executive committee election on April 29, ending a 21-month dramatic episode. But uncertainty still surrounds it, as the election was previously postponed twice at the last moment.
The 8th of this month was the last election date. But the polls were suspended by the election commission on April 5 due to a High Court ruling over the final voter list, just three days before the election date.
It seemed there was no quick possibility of the elections. The dubious circumstance had been procreated while Shishu Kishore Sangha secretary Md Sikandar Hayat Chowdhury challenged the final voter list. Therefore, the Election Commission suspended the polls and had been waiting for the High Court certificate.
Finally, they received the HC order over the final voter list, and now going to execute the elections. As per as HC order, total 83 voters excluding Taraque Ahmed Adil will elect the new Hockey Executive committee. The election commissioner and director (Sports) of National Sports Council (NSC) Shah Alam Sarder informed, “We have received High Court Order. We will now conduct elections.”
The election commission announced the fresh polls schedule last Thursday. According to the new schedule, candidates who submitted nomination papers earlier for the April 8 election can withdrawal candidature on April 16 (10 am to 4 pm) and the final list of candidates will be published at 4 pm on April 18. The election will be held on April 29 (10 am to 4 pm).
The term of the last executive committee ended on July 31, 2017. It was the second time while the National Sports Council had postponed the election date after August 21 of the same year. That time, NSC postponed the polls excusing the flood in country’s northern region.
In the meantime, the federation will be run by the previous ad-hoc committee, which was formed by NSC after several months on January 11, 2018. However, total fifty-eight of eighty-four councillors submitted their nominations for 28 posts including five vice presidents, one general secretary, two joint secretaries, a treasurer and nineteen members on March 31. The BHF election heated up while two panels submitted their nominations. The situation became a bit hotter while the two rival panels started to blame each other for breaching rules.
Abdus Sadeque, who is general secretary of the present ad-hoc committee and one of the directors of Abahani Ltd., is leading one of two panels in the election while another is led by Mohammedan SC councilor and Dhaka Mariner Youngs Club hockey committee chairman AKM Mominul Haque Sayeed.
Sadeque, earlier emphasized that the polls will be held by this month and they will win elections. “Hopefully the polls will be held by this month and we will move with as per as the EC’s orders. We hope we will win,” said Sadeque.
While Sadeque is expecting victory, another panel led-by Sayeed is urging for a fair election. One of the spokesmen of that panel Badrul Islam Dipu said, “They [Sadeque-led-panel] try to influence the elections. They are trying to pressurize our councillors.”
While asking any possibility of boycotting polls, Dipu replied, “There is no chance of boycotting. And we hope we will win by overcoming all of these pressures.”
It has been proved how internal conflict and political influence in the federation annihilate sports. Only a recognized elected governing body, outside of political influence, can revitalize the game.
Earlier, the previous election in 2013 had created a bad impression while five premier league clubs including Mohammedan Sporting Club and Mariner Youngs Club boycotted Khaza Rahmatullah’s elected committee. However, the turmoil finally ended after two-and-a-half years while some top posts had been reshuffled.