Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reiterated her commitment to holding a free, fair, and neutral election in the country, which is scheduled to take place either at the end of 2023 or early 2024.
During a meeting with the US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya, the prime minister expressed her party’s long-standing dedication to ensuring transparent elections and stated that they have previously conducted such elections. Prime Minister Hasina emphasized the importance of people’s rights to choose their representatives and highlighted the Awami League’s continuous fight for these rights. She also pointed out that it was the opposition party, BNP, that initially engaged in vote rigging, a situation that has been rectified by her government through the introduction of transparent ballot boxes for future polls. Furthermore, the prime minister recalled the atrocities and acts of terrorism carried out by BNP and its allies between 2013 and 2015, resulting in the loss of 500 lives. She also mentioned the August 21 Grenade attack, during which members of the Awami League shielded her from harm.
Uzra Zeya commended Prime Minister Hasina’s commitment to holding a neutral, free, and fair election and stated that her country had introduced a new visa policy to support this objective. She assured that there was no bias towards any political party and reiterated the desire for an impartial electoral process. The discussion also touched upon the Rohingya crisis, with Uzra Zeya emphasizing the need for coordinated international efforts to facilitate the repatriation of forcibly displaced Rohingyas back to their homeland in Myanmar. The US undersecretary praised Bangladesh for hosting a significant number of Rohingya refugees and announced a contribution of approximately $74 million for operational costs in the Rohingya camps. Sheikh Hasina expressed concerns about human trafficking and anti-social activities occurring within the camps, which pose security risks to the country. Labor issues were also addressed during the meeting, with Uzra Zeya stating that the US would collaborate with Bangladesh on labor reform initiatives. Prime Minister Hasina highlighted her personal efforts in encouraging industrial owners to improve wages and other facilities for workers.
The meeting was attended by Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Prime Minister’s Office Secretary Mohammad Salahuddin, Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States Mohammad Imran, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, and US Ambassador Peter Haas.
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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