Bangladesh is keen to assist Sierra Leone in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector alongside the field of agriculture, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told his Sierra Leonean counterpart on Tuesday in New York. “I also told him (the Sierra Leonean minister) that apart from agriculture, we have also made great progress in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and ICT. We’re keen to help Sierra Leone not only in the agricultural sector but also in the ICT sector,” said the Foreign Minister. Momen was briefing reporters over Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s and his engagements as they are in New York to attend the 78th United Nations General Assembly. Bangladesh Judicial Service Association slams European Parliament for ‘interference’ Talking about a bilateral meeting, he said the Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, David J Francis, praised Bangladesh for its unprecedented achievements in the overall development of the agricultural sector and ensuring food security. Francis sought assistance from Bangladesh for the development of these sectors of Sierra Leone. The Sierra Leonean minister thanked Bangladesh for the contribution of its troops, who worked in the African country under the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission. In this context, Momen extended his sincere thanks for recognizing Bengali as a state language of the African country. “The people of Bangladesh have a very friendly attitude towards Sierra Leone,” he told his counterpart. The foreign minister of Sierra Leone requested for setting up a Bangladesh mission in his country. Momen said Bangladesh is working to expand relations with Africa and many initiatives have been taken accordingly. Traditional friendship between Bangladesh, China blooms with light of youth in new era Momen also joined a high-level meeting of the Rohingya Contact Group of OIC and called for resource mobilization from OIC members to speed up the ongoing legal process at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar. In reply to a question, he said the Rohingya crisis is not our problem alone, rather it is a global issue. “We’ve given them shelter on humanitarian ground. But others (international community) also have a responsibility here. The countries that are vocal on humanitarian issues and human rights have much larger responsibility here,” he said. The foreign minister said Bangladesh often reminds them to keep pressure on Myanmar to solve the crisis. “I must say that they continue exerting enough pressure on Myanmar,” he said. Noting that Myanmar is not an enemy country of Bangladesh rather it is a neighbour, he said Myanmar agreed to take Rohingyas back to their country. It also said that they would ensure their safety and create a conducive environment for Rohingyas. But Myanmar authority has not kept their words as of today, though discussion continues on the issue, he added. “I am always optimistic. I hope our initiative taken to solve the Rohingya crisis will be a success… It is a slow process. Myanmar created this problem. So, the permanent solution to the crisis depends on Myanmar,” said Momen, adding that some 1.2 million Rohingya people are now staying in Bangladesh. Development should prioritise environmental protection over environmental damage: Dr Hossain Zillur The Bangladesh foreign minister also attended a high-level meeting on deep-sea scientific research jointly organized by Bangladesh, Argentina, and the International Seabed Authority at the United Nations headquarters.
France has thanked Bangladesh for its commitment concerning the acquisition of 10 A350 from Airbus. The two countries underlined the importance of continued cooperation on improved air traffic management in all airports of Bangladesh. Both countries welcomed enhanced cooperation in strategic sectors, according to the joint statement on Bangladesh-France partnership for peace, prosperity and people. Bangladesh and France regard sovereignty and strategic autonomy as key principles for a stable, multi-polar world. Also read: Bangladesh, France are opening up new areas of cooperation: PM Hasina Likewise, as a contribution to the 2041 Vision of a Smart Bangladesh, the two countries welcomed the conclusion of a space partnership between Airbus DS and Bangladesh Satellite Company Ltd. (BSCL) that will strengthen Bangladesh’s position as a Space nation after it masters its own sovereign earth observation satellite. Bangladesh and France have agreed to cooperate in the fields of ICT and digital technology, including artificial intelligence. In this regard, France invited Bangladesh to consider joining initiatives such as the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence. They also stressed the importance of joining their efforts towards an enhanced management of cybersecurity issues for a global, open and secure cyberspace governed by international law. Also read: Dhaka, Paris willing to step up defence cooperation, take relations to “strategic” level France will work towards identification of technical assistance to Bangladesh in dealing with cybersecurity threats and will work together on the Global Digital Compact under the aegis of the UN. Bangladesh and France share a deep-seated friendship, based on shared democratic values, promotion of human rights, sustaining peace and sustainable development. This friendship is rooted in multi-layered historical ties that notably saw André Malraux, France’s former Minister of Culture, launch his memorable call for supporting Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971 and his subsequent meeting with Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Dhaka in April 1973. Building on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to France in November 2021, at her invitation, President Emmanuel Macron paid a bilateral visit to Bangladesh from 10-11 September 2023. The President of France and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh met on Monday in Dhaka to give a strong impetus to the bilateral relations, and stated their common conviction to develop a trusted and meaningful partnership fostering strategic autonomy - in support of global peace and security, resilience and prosperity, and people-centric connectivity. Also read: France respects Bangladesh's sovereign policy independence: PM Hasina says after talks with President Macron
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday (May 30, 2023) called for more Swedish investment in various sectors of Bangladesh, particularly in ICT and Economic Zones, and reap the benefits. The Prime Minister made the call when a Swedish Delegation led by CEO and President of world-renowned clothing company H&M, Helena Helmersson, called on her at her official residence Ganabhaban. Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexandra Berg Von Linde and Chief Financial Officer of H&M Adam Karlsson were also in the delegation. Prime Minister's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the reporters. Read more: Saudi Arabia wants to make large-scale investment in Bangladesh: Saudi ministers tell PM Hasina Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh has its own economic policy and targeted plan on poverty reduction, food security, healthcare and on creating employment opportunities. She mentioned that the government wants to expand the export basket to further strengthen the economy of the country. During the meeting, Helena Helmersson mentioned that Sweden has had special relations with Bangladesh for the last three decades and said, they want to carry forward the business with Bangladesh. The CEO and President of H&M highly appreciated the socio-economic development of Bangladesh and lauded the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for successfully tackling the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. Read more: More cooperation may attract more US investment in diversified segments, hopes AmCham President In response, the Prime Minister also appreciated the Swedish Company as they did not cancel their orders during the pandemic. As Helena Helmersson pointed out the climate change issue describing it as very important, Sheikh Hasina said, her government is carrying out mitigation programmes on its own fund. In this regard, the Prime Minister noted that her government is aware about climate change and is working on this issue. Sheikh Hasina also highlighted her government’s achievements in women empowerment and gender equality in the country. Read more: Bangladesh has an amazing growth trajectory amid investment opportunities: German Diplomat Prime Minister’s Adviser on Private Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman and Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present.
Bangladesh and Japan has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to deepen partnership in different areas of ICT, including innovation and research, the digital economy, cyber security, and fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies to accelerate Bangladesh's journey towards building a knowledge-based Smart Bangladesh by 2041. The MoC was signed between the governments of Bangladesh and Japan in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office. Under the agreements, both Bangladesh and Japan would foster deeper partnership in various areas of ICT, including cooperation in human resources development, innovation and research, digital literacy, the digital economy, cyber security, and promoting 4IR technologies, sharing the most recent developments in the ICT sector, according to a press release by the ICT Division. State Minister of ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh IWAMA Kiminori put initials on the MoC on behalf of their respective sides. The two countries will cooperate with each other to prevent and respond to the fast-growing cyber incidents and exchange of information on prevalent cyber security policies and best practices, and arrange dialogue to discuss current issues on this issue, the MoC said adding they would cooperate to build capacity of human resources and exchange experts. State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said the MoC signed today with the technologically advanced country, Japan, is a milestone development in the journey towards building a sustainable, knowledge-based and innovative Smart Bangladesh by 2041. Read more: Dhaka-Tokyo friendship is flourishing for mutual benefits: PM Hasina “We have reached an understanding to work together in various areas of ICT such as human resources development, innovation and research, the digital economy, digital literacy, cyber security, and the use of 4IR technologies,” he said. Palak said Japanese cooperation is very important in all the above-mentioned areas, especially for implementing Smart Bangladesh within the stipulated time. Japan is Bangladesh's top development partner and it is helping the nation’s advance in fields including infrastructure, manufacturing technology and human resources, he said pointing out that the government in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has already made a `Smart Bangladesh: ICT 2041 Master Plan. The ICT State Minister said with the signing of the MoC, Bangladesh would now seek cooperation and suggestions from Japan to undertake and implement projects in line with the Smart Bangladesh: ICT 2041 Master Plan and about the use of 4IR technologies like AI, IoT, robotics, 3D printing that would shape several sectors of Bangladesh in the future health, education, energy, communication, commerce, economy, climate, infrastructure, natural resources, governance, financial transactions, security and entrepreneurship. As per the MoC, Bangladesh and Japan would also work together in the international arena to promote implementation of the UNGGE reports of 2013, 2015 and 2021 by reaffirming the applicability of international law in cyberspace as well as by appropriately conducting Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and extending capacity building.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (March 20, 2023) put emphasis on formulating new long term export policy for Bangladesh, considering graduation to a developing country from LDC after 2026. “After 2026, while we will graduate to a developing country from LDC, we will get some opportunities… We have to utilise those opportunities to make our economy stronger and develop the country further,” she said. The prime minister said this while speaking at the 11th meeting of the National Committee on Export, at her official residence Ganabhaban. She mentioned that after graduating to a developing nation, the next aim will be to become a developed one. Read More: Canada to increase potash exports to Bangladesh to boost food production, says country’s trade ministry Sheikh Hasina also asked the concerned to utilise opportunities regarding enhancing Bangladesh’s export items that have emerged due to Russia-Ukraine war. She said that due to Russia-Ukraine was, there is an opportunity for Bangladesh to create new markets with its own products. In this regard, she said that many countries have already shown interest to import food items from Bangladesh. “We could export food items after fulfilling local demands. We can take initiatives for that,” she said. Read More: Simplified policy, product diversification could boost exports to UK over $12 billion by 2029: Study says She said that immense opportunities could be created through establishing food processing industries in the country and export those items. The PM said that the government has given importance to the export sector. “After assuming office, we have taken steps to formulate long term export policies instead of policies on one-year basis. To sustain achievements, there is no alternative to long term strategy,” she said. She said that the government has formulated export policy until 2024 (2021-2024). Read More: Apparel export to EU up 14.3% during July-February of FY23 “…But what will we do after that? In the meantime, we are graduating to a developing country. I think this is the right time to consider what we will do in the coming days or how we will advance,” she said. She put emphasis on setting the next moves for economy, keeping in mind the current economic turmoil across the globe. “We have to find new markets across the globe. We have to diversify our products, we have to include new items in our export basket,” she said. The PM said that the Awami League government has given utmost importance to the private sector and it opened every sector to entrepreneurs as it is not possible for the government alone to develop the country. Read More: 'India a great potential market for Bangladesh's RMG exports' For the development of the export sector, she said, a strategy needs to be adopted and products have to be identified. “For that we have formulated a prospective plan – to turn the country into a developed one by 2041,” she said. The PM also mentioned ICT and digital devices, RMG, pharmaceuticals, light and medium weight industries, motor vehicles and electronic motor vehicles, while talking about diversifying products. She said that the government is preparing 100 economic zones with investment from home and abroad. Read More: Bangladesh export income rises despite bad global economy “Bangladesh has been able to attract foreign investments,” PM Hasina said.
The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on Monday sentenced five people to life imprisonment for their crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971. The three-member tribunal led by Justice Md Shahinur Islam pronounced the judgment. The convicts are Khandakar Golam Sabbir Ahmed, Harmuj Ali, Fakhruzzaman, Khandaker Golam Rabbani and Abdus Sattar. Among them, Fakhruzzaman and Rabbani were tried in absentia. Lawyers Sultan Mahmud Simon, Rezia Sultana Chaman and Barrister Taposh Kanti Bol represented the state while Advocate Abdus Sobhan Tarafdar, Mizanul Islam and Haji MH Tamim stood for the accused. Rahima Khatun, wife of martyred freedom fighter Abdur Rahman, filed a case against former Jatiya Party MP MA Hannan, Jamaat leaders Fakhruzzaman and Golam Rabbani, for their involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War on May 19, 2015. Also read: 6 sentenced to death for war crimes in Mymensingh Investigating officer of the case Motiur Rahman, conducted the investigation from July 28, 2015 to July 11, 2016. Police found involvement of five more people in the case and included them in the charge sheet. On October 1, 2016, the tribunal issued warrants for the arrest of the accused. MA Hannan, his son Rafique and three more accused were arrested from Trishal upazila in Mymensingh district. Mintu died during the trial proceedings while two other accused Fakhruzzaman and Rabbani went into hiding. Various allegations, including mass killing, rape, confinement, abduction, torture, and arson attack on houses, were brought against them which were proved in the tribunal. They committed the crime in Trishal upazila of Mymensingh district during the Liberation War. The tribunal took the cases against eight people into cognizance on December 11, 2016.
South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Sunday visited the Government Laboratory High School in the capital, where an innovative ICT-integrated classroom opened in 2019 with the support of the South Korean government. In his speech to the students, Ambassador Lee said: "Education has been a major driving force in Korea's rapid economic growth. Korea will continue to help improve Bangladesh's education services so that it can build a brighter future with talented students." The Korean government helped establish innovative ICT-integrated classrooms in which students can use state-of-art technology to maximise the efficiency of their study at the Government Laboratory High School and Government Mohammadpur Model School and College in Dhaka in 2019. Read more: South Korean envoy Lee for strengthening infrastructure cooperation with Bangladesh
South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh, Lee Jang-keun, has said Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) in Chattogram is showing continuous progress in developing the area through a series of efforts. KEPZ is developing the area by adding more factories, establishing ICT zones, opening design and development centers, inaugurating the country’s largest rooftop solar panel electricity generation, and inviting foreign companies, he said. The South Korean envoy, together with German Ambassador to Bangladesh Achim Troester, visited KEPZ on January 7 and looked around the factories and other facilities at the compound, including the newly opened unit of German company STRAUSS. Also Read: KEPZ Hi-Tech park will attract huge FDI, hopes Palak A renowned German outdoor and sportswear company, Strauss, officially opened its design and development center, Struass CI Factory Chattogram, at KEPZ on October 24 last year. Around 200 people are currently employed in Chattogram -- from product development to sales and marketing. KEPZ has successfully installed and is operating the country’s largest single rooftop solar power plant with a capacity of 22MW, which not only suffices the electricity needs of the zone but is also incorporated with Bangladesh’s national electricity grid, said the South Korean Embassy in Dhaka on Sunday. Also Read: Workers clash with cops at KEPZ; 6 hurt Ambassador Lee, together with State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, inaugurated KEPZ’s rooftop solar panel plant on June 20, 2021. Ambassador Lee also said that KEPZ’s ICT zone is well underway as planned. Construction of the ICT zone started from April last year through a groundbreaking ceremony with the presence of ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak and it is at the last stage of completing two factory buildings. According to the KEPZ, currently 43 operating factories are employing over 22,000 workers. Eight other factories are under construction. Read More: KEPZ textile zone can transform Bangladesh’s textile business: Youngone Chairman KEPZ is the sole private-owned EPZ in the country, operated by the Korean Youngone Corporation which is the first and the largest foreign investor in the RMG sector in Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (December 12, 2022) said that public universities in Bangladesh lagged behind in adapting to virtual or online class when the government tried to introduce it during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Let me share something regrettable. Our public universities were a bit slow in using the digital system in education during the pandemic period. They were far behind (compared to private universities),” she said. The Prime Minister said this while attending the inaugural programme of Digital Bangladesh Day 2022. ICT Division organised the programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) with the theme ‘Advanced Technology Inclusive Development’. Read more: From ‘Digital Bangladesh’ to ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041, PM announces Sheikh Hasina said that during the pandemic, public universities expressed reluctance to go for online classes. “Private universities started that (online classes) quickly. But our public universities (did not), even Dhaka University (did not start promptly),” she said. She said that after repeated requests, public universities of the country introduced online classes. “That was the reality. When a system is beneficial to us, why should we not adopt that?” – she questioned. Read more: $230bn needed: PM seeks support from global partners to implement climate adaptation plan If there were no ‘Digital Bangladesh’, what would have happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, she wondered. “Everything would come to a standstill.” The Prime Minister also elaborated on her government’s ICT-friendly initiatives and Vision 2041 to establish Smart Bangladesh. She mentioned that successful implementation of Digital Bangladesh made it possible for the government to keep the economy, education and other activities running properly during the pandemic. Regarding the economic situation worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war, sanctions and counter-sanctions, Sheikh Hasina said that prices of essentials have increased globally. Read More: Huawei ICT Incubator announces top 6 startups from Bangladesh “Developed countries are facing a volatile situation. Even developed countries like Great Britain have declared recession. By the grace of Allah, we are still able to run our economic wheel,” she said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (December 12, 2022) announced the “Smart Bangladesh” by 2041 goal. “We will make Bangladesh a developed country by 2041, and that Bangladesh will be Smart Bangladesh,” she said. The PM made the announcement while attending the inaugural programme of ‘Digital Bangladesh Day 2022’ – giving away prizes among winners of an online quiz competition. The ICT Division arranged the programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) with the theme ‘Advanced Technology Inclusive Development’. Read more: We are promoting grassroots arts and culture: PM Hasina Sheikh Hasina said that from Digital Bangladesh, the country will be transformed into Smart Bangladesh. She also said that the government has set four bases to realise the Smart Bangladesh goal. These are: Smart Citizen, Smart Economy, Smart Government and Smart Society. Sheikh Hasina said that the government also formulated the Delta Plan 2100 to outline the development path of the country apart from Vision 2041. The Prime Minister hoped that the youths will take the country forward and will groom themselves as smart citizens to become soldiers for the 2041 goal. Read more: Next general election to be held first week of 2024: PM Hasina announces at Cox’s Bazar rally State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Post, Telecommunication and ICT Ministry Chairman AKM RahmatUllah, and ICT Division Senior Secretary NM Zeaul Alam also spoke at the programme.