Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen expressed optimism on Saturday (May 27) regarding the potential of the new US visa policy to effectively combat the detrimental practice of money laundering to the United States.
Speaking to the media after attending an event at the International Mother Language Institute, he highlighted that US visas are commonly sought by affluent individuals such as government employees, politicians, businessmen, and certain members of civil society. He pointed out that those who possess the financial means to secure foreign education for their children and own assets are typically the ones involved in money laundering activities.
Dr. AK Abdul Momen underscored that these individuals engage in illicit practices to transfer funds from the country and invest in foreign assets. Implementing restrictions on such individuals, he noted, would help safeguard the country from financial losses caused by money laundering. While the government does not possess specific data on the exact amount of money laundered abroad annually, a US-based think-tank, Global Financial Integrity, estimated that Bangladesh incurred a substantial loss of $49.65 billion or approximately Tk 4,71,675 crore on average between 2009 and 2015 (excluding 2014). This loss primarily resulted from trade misinvoicing and under-invoicing, with an average of Tk 84,475 crore being siphoned off from the country each year during that period.
Addressing any concerns about the government’s reaction to the new visa policy, the foreign minister clarified that the issuance of US visas is solely the concern of the United States, not Bangladesh. He emphasized that the country would not engage in any clamor or fuss demanding US visas.
Regarding the return of special security protocols for the Indian and Saudi ambassadors, Dr. AK Abdul Momen stated that there is no lack of security in the country. He indicated that no ambassador has requested additional security measures thus far, and no foreign country has engaged in any wrongdoing that would make them potential targets for attacks. Therefore, he expressed confidence and reassured that there is no cause for concern in this regard.
Bangladesh Aims to Enhance Bilateral Ties with South Korea in Trade and Investment
Bangladesh is eager to strengthen its bilateral relations with South Korea, particularly in the realms of trade and investment, in pursuit of realizing the dream of achieving a ‘Golden Bengal,’ as envisioned by the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Md Shahriar Alam, expressed this commitment as the chief guest at a reception commemorating South Korea’s National Foundation Day. The reception, hosted by South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Park Young-Sik, took place at a city hotel on Sunday evening.
During his speech, Minister Alam conveyed Dhaka’s contentment with the consistent growth in bilateral trade and investment between Bangladesh and South Korea. He highlighted the 50-year history of robust bilateral relations and expressed optimism about elevating this friendship to a deeper and more comprehensive level of collaboration.
Furthermore, Minister Alam referenced the recent meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Yoon Suk Yeol on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit in India, underlining the significance of such high-level engagements.
He reiterated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision of establishing a knowledge and technology-based prosperous and intelligent Bangladesh by the year 2041.
Minister Alam also expressed gratitude for South Korea’s prompt recognition of Bangladesh as an independent state shortly after its independence on May 12, 1972.
Vietnam’s National Assembly President Attends Forum in Dhaka for Economic Collaboration with Bangladesh
Vuong Dinh Hue, the President of the Vietnam National Assembly, recently participated in an event held in Dhaka known as the ‘Forum on Policies and Laws to Foster Economic, Trade, and Investment Collaboration between Vietnam and Bangladesh.’ This significant gathering was jointly organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh, and in cooperation with key entities including the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Vietnamese Business Association in Bangladesh.
The forum drew the presence of a distinguished high-level delegation from the Vietnamese National Assembly, alongside prominent figures from the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), and a substantial representation from businesses on both sides. Additionally, various ministries from both Vietnam and Bangladesh were represented.
During the forum, three notable business-to-business Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were inked. These agreements included collaboration between BMH Vietnam Company and Doreen Group Bangladesh, focusing on investment cooperation, technology transfer, and the advancement of pre-engineered steel production. Another agreement was reached between Bangladesh Vietnam Development Assistance Company and the Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Association, with a specific focus on pharmaceutical exchange. Lastly, Huong Giang Aviation Services and the Bangladesh Tourism Association came together to establish a tourism alliance, marking a significant step in enhancing tourism ties between the two nations.
As part of his official three-day tour, Vuong Dinh Hue visited the state-of-the-art facilities of Beximco Pharma in Tongi, where he received an informative presentation and toured the manufacturing facility.
Bangladesh’s Commitment to SDGs Unshaken Despite Global Challenges, Says PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reaffirmed her government’s unwavering commitment to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), even in the face of challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine war, and the climate crisis. She made this declaration during a meeting with Helen Clark, Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), at the United Nations Headquarters.
As part of her commitment to healthcare services accessibility for all citizens, PM Sheikh Hasina mentioned the implementation of the National Health Sector Strategic Plan (2011-2030) and a 27% increase in healthcare sector allocations for the current fiscal year 2023-24.
Helen Clark commended Bangladesh’s exceptional progress in healthcare under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership, citing the nation’s remarkable achievements in reducing maternal and child mortality rates and ensuring universal healthcare services.
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