Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
PM in Doha: LDCs need 5 key support from dev partners
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (March 06, 2023) sought five key support from development partners to ensure a smart, innovative and knowledge-based society that will help to promote peace and inclusivity. The prime minister made the call at a side event, titled “Investment in Research and Development in LDCs for Smart and Innovative Societies”, at the 5th UN LDC Conference held at Qatar National Convention Center. Read More: LDC5 Conference: PM Hasina leaves Dhaka for Doha The key supports are: 1. Provide appropriate incentives to the international private sector for impactful technology transfer to LDCs, including for climate action. 2. Invest in digital infrastructures to reduce broadband divide and tech discrimination in LDCs. 3. Foster collaboration among research professionals and institutes to address issues and challenges facing LDCs. 4. Continuation of LDC waivers under TRIPS Agreement, also beyond graduation, especially for pharmaceuticals and agro-chemicals. 5. Support in developing an intellectual property regime conducive to both innovation and development in LDCs. Read more: Bangladesh open to Qatar’s investment in energy sector: PM tells Doha Investment Summit She also apprised the participants of her goal to go much further, to the next vision — ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041. “It will be based on four core elements: Smart Citizen, Smart Government, Smart Society and Smart Economy,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said that in 2009, when her government made a pledge to the people to build a ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by 2021, at the time, it sounded like a tall order. “But, the Covid-19 pandemic proved that we could fulfill that pledge.” Read More: Graduating LDCs want to make sure growth momentum isn’t slowed down: PM in Doha conference She said that the pandemic reminded all that LDCs cannot wait to invest in scientific research and technological innovation. “Such investments are a must for advancing their economies through productive capacity building,” she said. She mentioned that LDCs average GDP expenditure for research and development still remains below 0.6 percent. Only a handful of them feature in the Global Innovation Index. “But, LDCs cannot afford to lag behind with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Our young people should be made part of the future of work. We need meaningful global partnership for that,” she said. Read More: Private sector should prepare to face challenges of LDC graduation, FBCCI president says at AGM Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh qualified for LDC graduation in 2021 under all three criteria. “We are now preparing for graduation in 2026. During this transition, investment in science, technology and innovation is a priority for our government. We are working with the UN Technology Bank for LDCs on a national needs assessment,” she said. She said that the government attaches importance to promoting a scientific mindset in the education system. “We have established a host of science and technology universities and specialized institutes around the country,” she said. Read More: Switzerland to work with all Bangladeshi stakeholders for a ‘smooth, inclusive, sustainable’ LDC graduation Sheikh Hasina said that the government has introduced the Bangabandhu Science and Technology Fellowship and National Science and Technology Fellowship. The PM said that the new focus on blended education is aimed at developing IT skills for all. In this regard, she said that Sheikh Russel Digital Labs and Schools of Future are being set up across educational institutions. Bangladesh now has the world’s second largest community of registered IT freelancers. A new Institute of Frontier Technology is in the making for supporting high-end research and development. She mentioned that following the launch of Bangabandhu-I communication satellite, the government is now planning for an earth observation satellite. Read More: PM Sheikh Hasina arrives in Qatar to join UN conference on LDCs “Bangladesh had to invest in improving early warning and weather forecast systems to drastically reduce natural disaster risks,” she added. Sheikh Hasina said that the government has worked on home-grown climate adaptation measures, including through technological applications. “We also need access to mitigation technologies to further curb greenhouse gas emissions. Our government is building two nuclear power plants as part of a clean energy transition. We aim to increase our share of renewable energy, preferably with floating solar panels, offshore wind turbines and green hydrogen.” She said that the government has given emphasis on supporting agricultural research which made it possible for Bangladesh to combat hunger and become largely food secure. Read More: Int'l community must renew commitment for real structural transformation in LDCs: PM in Doha conference “We are investing further in making our agriculture and livestock environment-friendly. We stand ready to share our good practices with other LDCs through various means, including contract farming.” Talking about the government's present focus on enhancing scope for medical research, she said, climate change’s impacts on public health are being manifested through new disease burdens. “We must have international collaboration for research in neglected tropical diseases. We urgently need investments in developing new treatments for antimicrobial resistance,” the PM said.
Bangladesh open to Qatar’s investment in energy sector: PM tells Doha Investment Summit
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (March 06, 2023) urged oil-rich Qatar to make investment in Bangladesh’s energy sector, especially in renewable energy. “We remain open to investment proposals in our infrastructures and logistics sectors. We believe there is scope for Qatari investment in the energy sector, including in renewable energy,” she said. The premier was addressing the Doha Investment Summit 2023 Titled ‘The Rise of Bengal Tiger: Potentials of Trade and Investment in Bangladesh’ held at Grand Ballroom of The St. Regis Doha. She mentioned that Bangladesh could benefit from Qatar’s expertise in offshore gas exploration and energy distribution system. Read more: PM Sheikh Hasina arrives in Qatar to join UN conference on LDCs She urged the business people from Qatar to look at certain thrust sectors in Bangladesh and invited a delegation of Qatari business people to visit the country soon. “I also urge the non-resident Bangladeshis based in Qatar to invest in Bangladesh. We need your participation in our nation-building efforts,” she said. PM Hasina said that Bangladesh’s bilateral relations with Qatar should be readjusted based on a mutually beneficial economic partnership as there are immense untapped potentials. “Bangladesh and Qatar are bound by strong brotherly ties and friendship. Our two nations need to reposition our ties based on a mutually beneficial economic partnership,” she said. Read More: PM in Doha: LDCs need 5 key support from dev partners She also put emphasis on setting up a Joint Committee on Trade and Investment and a Joint Business Forum to bring private sectors on a single platform. “Our two governments should work on setting up a Joint Committee on Trade and Investment. There should also be a Joint Business Forum to bring our private sectors on a single platform,” she said. She mentioned that Bangladesh’s agricultural growth also creates scope for cooperation in agro-processing industries, with buy-back arrangements to Qatar. “We have plans to set up three special tourism zones, where Qatar can engage in both real estate and hospitality sectors,” she said. Read More: PM meets Guterres in Doha, discusses Ukraine, Rohingyas The PM said that Bangladesh aspires to have at least ten Unicorns in ‘Smart Bangladesh’, and country’s vibrant start-up scene is ready to draw Qatari investment. In addition, she said, Qatari investors can consider portfolio investment in Bangladesh. “Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission is working hard to further develop our capital markets. We have taken several steps to establish our bond market on a solid footing. We are soon going to include derivative products in our capital markets,” she said. PM Hasina said that the disruptions in international fuel market due to the war in Ukraine have pushed countries like Bangladesh into a hard spot. Read More: Energy-rich Qatar faces fast-rising climate risks at home In order to meet the growing energy need, she said, Bangladesh is interested in increasing its LNG imports from Qatar. She also requested Qatar to explore opportunities for increasing import of goods from Bangladesh. She said that Bangladesh is now well on track to graduate from the UN LDC Group in 2026 which has been achieved by 168 million people through their hard work and commitment. She said that just before the pandemic, country’s economy reached a growth rate of 8.15 percent, and even during the pandemic, it posted a growth rate of 6.94 percent. Read More: PM urges South Korea for more investments in Bangladesh She said that Bangladesh is now the world’s 35th largest economy with a GDP of USD 460 billion while projected to become the 24th largest by the first half of the 2030s. “It was during my first tenure in 1996-2001 that our government fully opened up the door of trade and business for the private sector. Now our private sector is flourishing and our government is working as a facilitator. Together, we hope to take Bangladesh to the next level of development,” the PM said. Sheikh Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh has one of the most liberal investment regimes in the region. She mentioned that the incentives being offered include tax holiday, concessionary duty on machinery import, remittance of royalty, technical know-how and fees, allowing 100 percent foreign equity, unrestricted exit policy, full repatriation facilities of dividend and capital on exit, etc. Read More: Eswatini wants trade, investment promotion with Bangladesh “The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) is offering a number of services to foreign investors under one roof.” She mentioned that the government is setting up 100 Special Economic Zones with coordinated facilities and there are so far five country-specific Economic Zones in the making. “We are investing heavily in our infrastructures fit for a regional connectivity and logistics hub. Our mega-projects like the Padma Multi-purpose Bridge, the Karnaphuli river tunnel, the Matarbari Deep Sea Port, the expanded Third Terminal at Dhaka International Airport, the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, the Metro-rail system in Dhaka all testify to our determined march forward.” Hasina mentioned that the government has already brought the entire nation under electricity and internet coverage while country’s first communication satellite Bangabandhu-I has opened up new horizons. Read More: Bangladesh, South Africa discuss ways to boost trade and investment “We have a large pool of easily trainable workforce available at a competitive wage<” she said, adding “Bangladesh has got the world’s second largest community of registered IT freelancers.” She mentioned that Bangladesh has made big leaps in developing its digital backbone down to the remote areas. “Our boys and girls are preparing themselves to join the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” She said that the government is gradually building 38 Hi-tech Parks, with opening for foreign investment. She said that government’s vision now is to build a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041, drawing strength from a knowledge-based society. Read More: It is high time to work together on more projects, investment areas: Chinese Envoy “Bangladesh offers to be a willing partner in realizing the Qatar National Vision 2030. We can equip our workforce with knowledge and skills to cater to the advanced employment market in Qatar,” she said. She reaffirmed her commitment to fulfill Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib’s dream of building a ‘Sonar Bangla’ and said that she is confident the Qatari leadership and people will continue to stand by Bangladesh as they did in the past decades. “I encourage our business peoples to keep adding new feathers to our excellent bilateral relations,” she said. Chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission Prof Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam and Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Lokman Hosaain Miah made two separate presentations focusing on potentials of trade and investment in Bangladesh. Read More: Bangladesh-Turkiye Business Forum launched to usher in new era of economic cooperation Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) in partnership with the Foreign Affairs Ministry arranged the event.
PM Hasina holds meeting with former British PM Sir Tony Blair
Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and Former British Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair had a breakfast meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday morning at her official residence Ganabhaban. PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, while briefing reporters, said that during the meeting the former British Prime Minister apprised Sheikh Hasina of the activities of his Institute. PM Hasina appreciated the Tony Blair Institute’s mission to equip leaders and governments for the global future. She recalled her various meeting with Tony Blair while he was the Prime Minister of Britain. Karim said that both reviewed Bangladesh-UK relations. Read more: Sunak marks 100 days as UK prime minister as problems mount They also talked about sports, particularly cricket, as the England cricket team is touring Bangladesh right now. Principal secretary M. Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, PMO Secretary Mohammad Salahuddin and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson were present during the meeting.
PM to leave Dhaka for Doha on Mar 4 to attend LDC5 Conference
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to leave Dhaka for Doha on March 4 to participate in the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), to be held on March 5-9. Prime Minister’s participation at the conference is very important to share Bangladesh’s amazing graduation experience with all the stakeholders including the UN and ensure a smooth and sustainable graduation, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Seheli Sabrin in a weekly briefing on Thursday, sharing the PM’s schedule during her stay in Doha, Qatar. Bangladesh will call for global support for smooth transition in Bangladesh's LDC graduation. This will be the last LDC summit where Bangladesh will be attending as the country will be graduating from least developed country (LDC) status by 2026. The premier will be visiting Qatar at the invitation of the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and Education Minister Dipu Moni, among others, will be accompanying her during the visit. The prime minister will lead a high-level delegation and will hold bilateral meeting with her Qatari counterpart apart from her participation at the LDC5 conference. She will also have meeting with the Emir of Qatar. Bilateral issues including cooperation in the areas of energy sector will come up for discussion. On March 5, the PM will deliver a speech at the opening plenary meeting as a special guest. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, UN General Assembly President and current chair of LDC Group will also speak at the plenary meeting. The Prime Minister will also deliver a speech at an event on the sidelines, titled “Sustainable and Smooth Transition for the Graduating Cohort of 2021”. Read more: Govt to focus on labour-intensive industries along with technology: PM Hasina On March 6, she will speak as the chief guest at a business summit, titled “The Rise of Bengal Tiger: Potential of Trade and Investment in Bangladesh.” On March 7, the Prime Minister will attend a high-level dialogue on “Enhancing the participation of LDCs in International Trade and Regional Integration”. She will also attend an event, titled “Global Partnership for Smooth and Sustainable Graduation: Marching towards Smart Bangladesh” as the special guest. The LDC5 is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to accelerate sustainable development in the places where international assistance is needed the most — and to tap the full potential of the Least Developed Countries, helping them make progress on the road to prosperity. Over five days of the LDC5 Conference in Doha, world leaders will gather with the private sector, civil society, parliamentarians, and young people to advance new ideas, raise new pledges of support, and spur delivery on agreed commitments, through the Doha Programme of Action. At the conference, it is expected that specific initiatives and concrete deliverables will be announced that will address LDC-specific challenges. The conference will feature plenary sessions, parallel high-level thematic roundtables, and a series of parallel and side events on various thematic priorities of the DPoA. A Summit level meeting of the LDC Group, chaired by the President of Malawi, will be held on the day before the conference. A commemoration event on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Group of LDCs will be held after the opening session on March 5, 2023. There will also be dedicated events for the private sector, CSOs, youths, parliamentarians and South-South tracks on the margins of the conference. The world’s Least Developed Countries are in a race against time to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The remaining years need to usher in a new global partnership to ensure these 46 countries benefit from social, economic and environmental development, according to the UN. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to leave Doha for Dhaka on March 8.
Govt to focus on labour-intensive industries along with technology: PM Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the government wants to blend Fourth Industrial Revolution with labour intensive industries aiming to create employment opportunities for a greater number of people in the country. “Technologies are changing every moment, now Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is knocking at the door. May be we will need less manpower, but we have to use technology, information technology. For that we need skilled manpower,” she said. The prime minister was distributing cheques of "Bangabandhu Science and Technology Fellowship," "National Science and Technology Fellowship" and special research donations among teachers, scientists, researchers and students of different universities. The Science and Technology Ministry arranged the ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium. Hasina said that the government does not want to embrace 4IR completely. “But we do not want to go that direction completely; we want to set up labour intensive industries also. Because we have to ensure employment of the huge population. So blending with these two we have to advance our country, that must be kept in your mind,” she said. The PM requested the researchers to do their work with utmost sincerity and she expressed her eagerness to be informed about the outcome of these researches time to time. She reiterated her call to give special focus on medical science research, urging all to move the country forward with fresh inventions to cope with the newer global technologies. “I can say with sadness that though research on agriculture and science is going on, but our research on medical science is fewer in number. Give special attention to medical science research which is required greatly,” she said.
Ensure insurance claims are paid after proper investigation: PM Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called for ensuring that the insurance claims are paid after proper investigation to curb anomalies in this sector. “Make sure that you are paying the claimed money after appropriate investigation and examinations,” she said. The prime minister said this while addressing a programme to observe National Insurance Day 2023 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) with the theme 'my life and asset will be secured, if these are insured' ('amar jibon amar sampad, bima korle hobe nirapad'). She said that there are allegations of anomalies in paying the claimed money where unscrupulous people claim hefty amount of money against their insured items. “My request to the people and authority involved in the insurance sector to remain alert to ensure inquiry for finding out the actual loss from any incident,” she said. She asked them not to pay any money without conducting proper investigation bowing down to the pressure from any (influential) person. She asked all people and authorities involved in insurance sector to sincerely look into various anomalies in this sector. “Please do no give in to any pressure. Many people come to us, to me and the ministers or any other person, for getting favour, but you have to find out the actual loss,” she said. Hasina said that any person can claim hefty amount for his or her insured item, but the concerned authorities have to pay the money after proper investigation and examination. “Why is not that being implemented? Then should I think that the investigators are also the beneficiaries of this (anamoly)? I doubt they also have involvement is this," she said. She mentioned that she does not want that insurance companies earn bad names, because she is also a member of this family. “I have to look after this.” She also requested the insurance companies to publicise their various kinds of products among the people as they sometimes are reluctant to take insurance policy. Responding to a demand from the insurance companies, the PM said that the government will look into the matter that without proper insurance no vehicle will be plying on the roads. “We have to keep a special eye on this matter,” she said. Also read: PM on forex reserves: Better to spend on people's welfare than keep it idle The premier said that since 2009, her government has taken various timely and effective measures to further develop and modernise the insurance industry. She questioned how the third party insurance is still operational in the country as such insurance for cars had already been cancelled in the country. “How the third party car insurance hurts I know it well as I was the victim of it,” she said. Briefly describing various measures for the development of the insurance sector, she said the government has enacted Insurance Act-2010, the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority Act-2010, Insurance Corporation Act-2019 and the National Insurance Policy-2014. She said her government has been implementing a Bangladesh Insurance Sector Development Project for modernisation of the insurance sector. The PM stressed the need for complete digitisation of the insurance sector and asked all concerned to enhance the capacity of Unified Messaging Platform (UMP) to increase the confidence of the people in this sector. She said that the government has appointed an insurance actuary to ensure the overall development of the insurance industry in the country accordingly. “Insurance companies have increased in the country and we’re implementing several mega projects. Insurance is necessary in every sector,” she said. The prime minister thanked the authorities concerned for introducing health, life and crop insurances. “You people have to go for massive publicity about the good things of insurance as the people of our country largely ignored the system,” she said. The premier, however, asked all to remain cautious so the global economic recession arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war, sanctions and counter sanctions cannot harm Bangladesh in any way. Detailing her government's efforts in the last 14 years since assuming power in 2009, she said Bangladesh has now become a developing nation and acquired dignity on the global stage. PM Hasina said her Awami League party has restored democracy in the country through struggles. Bangladesh is continuously progressing ahead as the democratic process continues after the Awami League was voted to power in 2008, 2014 and 2018 general elections. She handed over a crest, certificate and three books (The Unfinished Memoirs, the Prison Diaries and New China as I Saw written by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) to the winners of the easy competitions at the school and college level. She also distributed honorary certificates to National Life Insurance and the Popular Life Insurance for the life insurance category while the Green Delta Life Insurance and Sonar Bangla Life Insurance got the award for the non-life insurance category. IDRA Chairman Mohammad Jainul Bair, Bangladesh Insurance Association President Sk Kabir Hossain And Secretary to Financial Institutions Division Sheikh Mohammad Salim Ullah also spoke. A documentary on the insurance sector of the country was screened at the programme. Earlier, she distributed prizes among the easy writting competitions. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman joined Alpha Insurance Company on March 1, 1960, and took up insurance as a profession. In commemoration of that day, the National Insurance Day is celebrated on March 1 every year.
Reopening embassy will boost trade between Argentina, Bangladesh: Visiting minister hopes
Argentina’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Santiago Andrés Cafiero today (February 28, 2023) hoped that the economic, trade and business collaboration between his country and Bangladesh will get a boost following the reopening of the Argentine embassy in Dhaka. He expressed the optimism while paying a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the latter’s official residence Ganabhaban this morning. PM’s speechwriter Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters after the meeting. “Argentina is happy to reopen its embassy in Dhaka,” the visiting foreign minister was quoted as saying while extending thanks to Sheikh Hasina for giving the opportunity to reopen the mission in such a short time. Read More: Bangladesh should go for PTA with Mercosur instead of FTA: Argentine minister He hoped that economic, trade and business collaboration between the two countries will be enhanced, as well as friendship will be strengthened further with reopening the embassy. “There is enough scope to enhance cooperation between our two countries,” Cafiero was quoted as saying. Argentina first opened its embassy in Dhaka in 1974 but it was closed in 1978 by the military junta that ruled the South American country at the time. The Argentina embassy was reopened in Dhaka’s Banani area yesterday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh is very keen to enhance relations with Argentina. Read: All roads in haor areas will be elevated for unobstructed water flow: PM “There is huge scope to enhance trade and tourism between Bangladesh and Argentina,” she was quoted. Argentina can import garments and pharmaceutical items, jute and related products, and leather goods from Bangladesh, she said. Bangladesh mainly imports edible oil, particularly soybean oil, animal and vegetable fats, seeds, fruits, grains, dairy products, eggs and natural honey. “We can also collaborate in the fields of sports, education and culture,” she said, seeking cooperation from Argentina for the development of Bangladesh football. Read More: Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber president meets Argentine business delegate in Dhaka Sheikh Hasina said the whole world is going through turmoil caused by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war, economic sanctions and counter-sanctions. Not only Bangladesh, but many developed countries are being impacted as prices of food items and inflation have gone up significantly around the world, she said. In this context, she said that public suffering can be eased through enhancing cooperation and relations among friendly countries. The PM said Bangladesh has put emphasis on raising food production and setting up 100 special economic zones to generate employment, developing infrastructures and connectivity with neighbouring countries. Now Bangladesh is a marketing hub in South Asia, she added. Read: President at Mithamain to welcome PM The visiting Argentine minister said the people of his country are also bearing the brunt of high inflation induced by the Russia-Ukraine war and the Covid-19 pandemic. Talking about climate change, he said relations among the member states of the global south forum can be strengthened to fight the impact. He praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership in fighting climate change. Appreciating the development of Bangladesh, he said, “We are highly impressed with the socio-economic development of Bangladesh.” Read More: Bangladesh attractive destination for business, investment: Momen tells Argentine delegation Noting that this is his first visit here, the Argentine foreign minister said he did not imagine that Bangladesh would be so beautiful. PMO Secretary Mohammad Salahuddin, Secretary (West) at the Foreign Ministry Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury and non-resident Ambassador of Argentina to Bangladesh Hugo Gobbi were present. On Monday, Argentine Foreign Minister Cafiero arrived in Dhaka to inaugurate his country’s new embassy here and deepen trade and cultural relations. Diplomatic operations, such as visas in order to travel, were handled by the Argentine embassy in India until now. Read More: Argentine FM to hold bilateral talks with Momen in Dhaka Monday
Boost research on agriculture to increase production: PM Hasina tells scientists
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday reiterated her call to scientists to put extra efforts on research to attain excellence in agricultural production. “I always think that without research it is not possible to attain excellence. As we are agriculture dependent country, we have given extra importance on agriculture,” she said. The prime minister was speaking at a programme to mark the 50th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and inauguration of the ‘Bangabandhu Pierre Trudeau Agricultural Research Center’. She, however, said that the government has given importance on the research work on other sectors too. “Besides we have given emphasis on research works on health, education and science,” she said. Laying emphasis on continuous research on boosting food production, the PM said that Bangladesh frequently faces adverse circumstances due to geographical location and impact of climate changes. “So we have to produce our crops,” she said. Briefly describing various initiatives of the government for agricultural research, she said that Bangladesh not only sets example in food grains production, but also in all vegetables, fruits and other agricultural products. In this regard, she said that the production has to be continued with new varieties of crops in tune with the climate changes and environment. Hasina said that the country is about to enter the fourth industrial revolution and so the government has taken steps to create skilled manpower. She put emphasis on learning and producing bio-informatics, nano-technology, machine learning, internet of things and new agriculture technologies. Liberation War Affairs Minister A K M Mozammel Huq and State Minister for Youth and Sports Md. Zahid Ahsan Russel were also present at the event. Read more: Economic dev not possible without agriculture: Food Minister Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akter, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Director General Jean Balié, Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Bakhtiar, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at Global Institute for Food Security, Steven Webb and BIRRI director general Dr M Shahjahan Kabir also spoke. A documentary titled "50 years of BRRI's pride and success" was screened at the function. On arrival at the BRRI, the prime minister paid homage at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Earlier, the PM inaugurated the ‘Bangabandhu Pierre Trudeau Agricultural Research Center’ aiming to conduct research in the field of agriculture for ensuring food security system tolerant of global climate change. The centre is expected to increase the existing commercial, research activities, technology exchange, development assistance between Bangladesh and Canada. This is the first time such a research centre set up with the direct support and funding of the government of Canada. The technology centre has been set up at BRRI following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Global Institute for Food Security at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council aiming to cooperate on multidisciplinary research, training and development partnership to ensure sustainable food security. PM Hasina also released balloons and pigeons marking the golden jubilee of BRRI's pride and success. She also took part in different programmes including tree plantations, inspection of BRRI laboratories, its various innovations and a cultural event titled “Dhan-Kabbya”. She unveiled the cover of five research publications of BRRI and BARC. The PM said that the government will provide food assistance to at least one crore people during holy Ramadan. “We have taken that decision. Our goal is to ensure that the people of our country never suffer from food shortages,” she said. She also mentioned that the government is giving 30 kg of rice free of cost to the poor people in the country. Read more: Govt’s focus on agriculture to tap its full potential: PM Hasina “This is being mixed with nutritional rice so that they do not get nutrition deficiency", she added. Hasina said that the government provided cash assistance to different sectors during Corona pandemic. She also mentioned that when global inflation went up after Ukraine-Russia war, sanctions and counter-sanctions, the government distributed TCB cards to provide rice to one crore people at just Tk 30 per kg to ensure food security for the people of our country. “Moreover, for the poorer section we have made this arrangement for about 50 lakh people who can buy rice for only Tk 15 per kg," she said. She called for involvement of students in agricultural work from school life. “I think from school life they need to be involved. Working in the field, growing crops is a matter of great pride, not shame. So that's how we should build the people of our country," she said. Commenting on the change in the mentality of the educated youth about agriculture, Hasina said, “Many boys and girls do not want to go to the farms after finishing their study. Even if their fathers are farmers, they feel ashamed to say that their fathers are farmers. But today that shame is no longer, we have removed that shame.” She said that there is no shame in doing what helps a person eat and live. “It is the matter of pride to do that, So it was absolutely necessary to change that mindset, I believe that we have been able to change mindset to some extent,” she said.
PM opens Mirpur-Kalshi flyover
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (February 19, 2023) inaugurated the Mirpur-Kalshi flyover to vehicular movement. The flyover has been constructed to ease commute in Mirpur, Mirpur DOHS, Pallabi, Kalshi, Mahakhali, Banani, Uttara and Dhaka airport. The prime minister opened the flyover to traffic from a function at Kalshi intersection, adjoining Balur Math, in Dhaka. The 2,335m long flyover has been built under the Road Widening and Development Project from ECB Square to Mirpur and the Construction of Flyover on Kalshi Circle Project, which got ECNEC approval on January 9, 2018. Read more: Want peace, but ready to resist external attack: PM Hasina Under the project, 3.70km stretch of road from the ECB square to Kalshi was also widened. Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and the Bangladesh Army (24 Engineer Construction Brigade) implemented the project at a cost of around Tk 1,012 crore. According to the project details, the flyover looks like the English alphabet ‘Y’. The previously four-lane roads have been widened to six lanes to ease commute. Read More: Remove posters, writings from Dhaka’s flyovers in 2 weeks: HC The main four-lane flyover runs from ECB square towards Kalshi and Mirpur DOHS, while a two-lane ramp descends from Kalshi intersection to Kalshi Road. The project also includes extension of a PC girder bridge, construction of two foot bridges, a public toilet, two police boxes, a 7.40 km RCC drain and saucer drain, a 1755m RCC pipe drain, retaining wall, 3383m communication duct, 8 lakh-linear metre sand compaction pile, separate cycle lane, and six bus bays. On her arrival at the venue, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tazul Islam, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Md Atiqul Islam, Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, Dhaka-16 MP Md Elias Uddin Mollah, and Local Government Division Secretary Muhammad Ibrahim welcomed her. Read More: Flyovers to be constructed in haor region, not roads: Planning Minister.
PM urges South Korea for more investments in Bangladesh
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged South Korean businesses for more investment in Bangladesh. “There is a huge potential to boost the economic relations between the two countries,” she said. The premier said this when visiting South Korean Special Presidential Envoy Jang Sung Min paid a courtesy call on her at her official residence Ganabhaban. PM’s speechwriter Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters after the meeting. The prime minister said South Korea is one of Bangladesh’s top development partners, and the country has been extending cooperation – especially in textile and infrastructure – since the latter’s independence. Jang Sung Min is visiting Bangladesh as part of the celebration of 50 years of the diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and South Korea. The envoy said that his country is keen to strengthen the bilateral ties with Bangladesh further in the next 50 years. The relationship will grow gradually from strength to strength in the days to come, said the Presidential Envoy and Senior Secretary for Future Strategy in the Office of the President of Republic of Korea. Diplomatic relations were established 50 years ago as South Korea recognised Bangladesh on May 12, 1972. During the meeting, the South Korean presidential envoy shared his personal experiences regarding his visit to Bangabandhu Memorial Museum this morning. Read more: South Korea’s presidential envoy begins 3-day tour paying tribute to Bangabandhu Jang Sung Min said that he was “fascinated and moved” after the visit as he came to know the struggles and sacrifices Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made. The envoy on behalf of his president invited the prime minister to visit South Korea. The premier also invited the South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to visit Bangladesh. Principal Secretary M. Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun were present. Jang Sung Min arrived here yesterday, on a three-day tour to Bangladesh. As one of President Yoon’s closest advisors, he has been playing a key role in establishing South Korea’s diplomatic and economic policies in the new administration since its inauguration in May 2022. Read more: South Korean envoy calls on new principal secretary to prime minister