Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government is implementing all its development programmes centring rural areas to provide a better economic status to Bangladesh villages.
She made the statement when Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana met her at her official residence Ganobhaban.
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
The Prime Minister said the government is working tirelessly to improve the lifestyle of rural people as it is committed to providing urban-like facilities in rural areas.
She mentioned some steps of the government to expand the social safety net in the country.
Sheikh Hasina sought support and cooperation from UNESCAP for the country’s development.
She also put emphasis on improving connectivity in the region for the overall development of its people.
The Prime Minister said the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Initiative and Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor will enhance the cooperation with trade and investment among the countries and regions.
"Bangladesh supports ESCAP's works of developing an intermodal regional network, incorporating the Asian Highway Network, Trans-Asian Railway Network and the network of Dry Ports and hopes it’ll strengthen connectivity, optimise the use of existing infrastructure and increase the level of integration among different transport modes," she said.
About climate change, Hasina said Bangladesh is not a carbon-emitting country, but it is affected most by climate change.
She also said the government with its own fund has taken some steps to combat the adverse impact of climate change.
About Rohingya issue, she said friendly countries and international organisations have supported Bangladesh and she thanked them for that.
Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana highly appreciated Bangladesh for its faster-growing economy.
She also hailed Prime Minister's strong leadership for women empowerment and development of the ICT sector in Bangladesh.
The UNESCAP Executive Secretary invited the Prime Minister to join the 76th annual session of the UNESCAP to be held in Bangkok. The annual session of the organisation usually takes place in May.
PM's Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, Principal Secretary M Nojibur Rahman, PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hassan, ERC Secretary Monowar Ahmed and UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Bangladesh Mia Seppo were, among others, present at the meeting.
Later, a seven-member delegation of the newly elected Aviation Operators’ Association of Bangladesh (AOAB), led by its President Anjan Chowdhury, met the Prime Minister.
They apprised Sheikh Hasina of the present state of the private sector airliners and helicopter operators of the country. They sought her cooperation for further developing the sector which they said is potential.
The team also informed the Prime Minister of the problems that impede the sector’s development.
The Prime Minister gave them a patient hearing and assured them of extending all cooperation from the government.
PM's Adviser Salman F Rahman, PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hassan and Civil Aviation Secretary Mohibul Haq were present during the meeting.