Bangladesh and the French Development Agency (AFD) have recently finalized credit facility agreements (CFAs) totaling EUR 277 million (approximately $303 million) for three pivotal development projects.
The CFAs were signed on June 22, with Sharifa Khan representing Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division and Benoit CHASSATTE serving as AFD country director for Bangladesh. Under these agreements, AFD will contribute EUR 62 million to the Greater Dhaka Sustainable Urban Transport Project (BRT Company Component), EUR 175 million to the Chattogram Metropolitan Sewerage Project for North Kattoli, and EUR 40 million to the Bangladesh Environmental Sustainability and Transformation (BEST) project.
The first project, the Greater Dhaka Sustainable Urban Transport Project, aims to establish a sustainable urban transport system within Gazipur City Corporation. A key aspect of this initiative is the introduction of a 20 km Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor, which serves as a pilot project to address integrated urban mobility solutions. The second project, the Chattogram Metropolitan Sewerage Project, aims to fulfill the long-awaited needs of residents in the Port City by constructing a sewerage system and wastewater treatment infrastructure for the North Kattoli catchment area.
Finally, the Bangladesh Environmental Sustainability and Transformation (BEST) project, a collaboration between AFD and the World Bank, focuses on enhancing environmental regulations and enforcement in Bangladesh. It seeks to tackle pollution and improve environmental quality by strengthening the country’s technical and administrative capacities.
AFD, a bilateral development agency responsible for implementing official development assistance on behalf of the French government, has been actively involved in Bangladesh since 2012. Their support extends to various development projects, including urban development, infrastructure initiatives, power and green energy projects, and corporate and social responsibility endeavors. AFD’s commitment to Bangladesh’s development is evident in its provision of EUR 2,101 million in technical assistance projects and a budget support loan of EUR 300 million.
This collaboration between Bangladesh and AFD signifies a significant step towards accelerating the country’s progress and addressing vital areas of development. The funding secured through the CFAs will play a crucial role in promoting sustainable growth and improving the socioeconomic landscape of Bangladesh.
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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