Gwyn Lewis, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, underscored the pivotal role of the private sector in driving comprehensive and sustainable development within the nation. She emphasized the necessity for innovation, collaboration, and financial support from the private sector to aid the government in attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh by 2030.
During the inaugural formal meeting, the UN Resident Coordinator warmly welcomed the establishment of the Bangladesh Private Sector Working Committee (BPSWC) along with its subcommittees. These thematic groups, aligned with the country’s SDGs, aim to expedite the implementation of sustainable development objectives through close collaboration between the Government of Bangladesh, the United Nations, and both national and international development organizations.
The committee’s first working meeting, held on Wednesday (August 9), saw the formal selection of the group members. The event was attended by around fifty heads of Bangladeshi private companies, representatives from development organizations, and various UN agency representatives.
The proceedings commenced with opening remarks from key figures including Md. Jashim Uddin, the President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industries (FBCCI) and Chairman of BPSWC, as well as Ardashir Kabir, President of the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation (BEF). Their comments highlighted the significance of the private sector’s contribution to an inclusive and sustainable development approach.
The UN Resident Coordinator, in her address, commended the initiative and urged active and coordinated involvement from the private sector in achieving the SDGs in Bangladesh. She expressed her warm welcome to the inaugural meeting of the Bangladesh Private Sector Working Committee and its newly formed Thematic SDG Working Groups. These groups, comprising five divisions, are designed to enhance private sector engagement and expedite efforts toward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Launched in May 2023 by FBCCI, BEF, and the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Bangladesh, the establishment of these groups stands as one of the committee’s initial endeavors. The Bangladesh Private Sector Working Committee was instituted to facilitate collaboration between the country’s private sector, the Government of Bangladesh, the UN, and both national and international development organizations. Its primary focus is on critical challenges like job creation, youth employment, and fostering conducive working environments—all essential components in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.
The meeting also saw the participation of UN representatives in Bangladesh, including notable figures from various UN agencies aligned with the UN’s 2022-26 Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework. Notable names such as Gitanjali Singh from UN Women Bangladesh, Tuomo Poutiainen from ILO Bangladesh, Van Nguyen from UNDP, Emma Brigham from UNICEF, Nur Khondaker from FAO Bangladesh, and Dr. Vibhavendra S Raghuvanshi from UNFPA Bangladesh attended the event, demonstrating a unified commitment to advancing sustainable development.
BICM Trains Women Investors Regarding Capital Market
Bangladesh Institute of Capital Market (BICM) has organized an investment education program titled “Essentials of Capital Market Investment for Women Entrepreneurs.” This initiative is specifically aimed at female investors and entrepreneurs.
The program took place on Tuesday, September 12th, at BICM’s multipurpose hall. Over a hundred female members from “Women and E-commerce (WE),” an organization comprising numerous women entrepreneurs, participated in this training program.
The chief guest at the event was Dr. Mahmuda Akter, the Executive President of the Bangladesh Institute of Capital Market (BICM). Among the notable attendees were Nasima Akter Nisha, the President and Founder of Women and E-commerce (WE), as well as Irene Parveen, the Executive Director of WE. The executive committee director, Salma Parveen, and Rakiba Parveen, members of BICM’s Women Entrepreneurs and Development Committee, were also present. Additionally, the event was graced by Kashfiya Sharmin, Assistant Professor and Assistant Coordinator of the committee, Dr. Tamanna Islam, Assistant Professor and committee member, S. M. Kalbin Chalima, Lecturer, Faima Akter, Lecturer, and Gaurab Roy, Lecturer, all from BICM.
Addressing the gathering, Professor Dr. Mahmuda Akter highlighted that the Bangladesh Institute of Capital Market (BICM) has been consistently providing training on various relevant subjects in the financial/stock market. As part of this commitment, the institute has organized this training program specifically for women investors. Dr. Mahmuda Akter emphasized the importance of women being well-informed and cautious with their savings when investing in the capital market. She underscored BICM’s dedication to equipping women with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed and secure investments in the capital market.
Irene Parveen, the Executive Director of Women and E-commerce (WE), stated that WE members are actively seeking education not only in e-commerce but also in investment through the Bangladesh Institute of Capital Market (BICM). The aim is to equip WE members with the skills and knowledge required to engage in investments in the capital market alongside their e-commerce ventures.
It’s noteworthy that BICM has been conducting regular “Free Investors’ Education Programs” with the objective of enhancing investment awareness among ordinary investors in the Capital Market. In addition, the institute organizes certificate training programs on various contemporary topics for capital market professionals.
Bangladesh, France Boost Relations in Bilateral Meeting
The bilateral meeting between Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, and French President Emmanuel Macron concluded this morning (11 September), with a focus on diversifying their existing relationship. The meeting took place at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) following a one-on-one discussion between the two leaders.
President Macron was warmly received by Prime Minister Hasina at the PMO’s tiger gate upon his arrival at 10:20 am, with a bouquet of flowers. Before the bilateral meeting, both leaders participated in a photo session. Several bilateral agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) are expected to be signed in the presence of the two leaders, who will also hold a joint press briefing.
Before departing from the PMO, Macron will sign the visitor’s book. Earlier in the day, he paid tribute to the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, by laying a wreath at Bangabandhu’s portrait and visited the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi-32.
President Macron’s visit to Bangladesh, at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, aims to solidify ongoing projects and further enhance economic relations between the two nations. This marks Macron’s first visit to Bangladesh, with the last visit by a French president occurring in 1990 when President Mitterrand visited.
Since the early 1990s, the bilateral trade relationship between Bangladesh and France has grown significantly, with total trade rising from €210 million to €4.9 billion today, making France the 5th largest country for Bangladesh’s exports. French companies are now active in various sectors such as engineering, energy, aerospace, and water resources. Both Bangladesh and France hope that President Macron’s visit will elevate their friendly relations to new heights.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited France in November 2021 at the invitation of President Macron. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has indicated that discussions during Macron’s visit will include strategies to boost trade and investment, addressing climate change, and regulating migration. Climate change and the Rohingya crisis will also be key topics of discussion during their meeting.
Macron’s visit to Bangladesh followed his participation in the G-20 Summit in New Delhi, India.
G20 summit concludes with India, Brazil & Russia boasting success
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded the G20 summit on Sunday (10 September), where divisions over the Ukraine conflict and climate change took center stage, granting him a moment in the diplomatic spotlight.
The G20 leaders have been deeply divided over the Ukraine war since Russia’s invasion last year, with Russian President Vladimir Putin notably absent from the summit to avoid political scrutiny. Finding common ground has been a persistent challenge, particularly regarding the ongoing conflict.
In a bid to mitigate a diplomatic embarrassment, India, as the host, pushed for a joint statement on Saturday that condemned the use of force for territorial gain but refrained from direct criticism of Russia. The move was met with mixed reactions, with Kyiv stating that the G20 had “nothing to be proud of,” while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, standing in for Putin, claimed a diplomatic victory by stating that the text didn’t mention Russia.
On Sunday, Modi officially closed the summit by passing a ceremonial gavel to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will assume the bloc’s presidency in December. Lula emphasized the importance of not letting geopolitical issues overshadow the G20’s discussions and stressed the need for peace and cooperation.
Despite the urgent climate crisis, G20 leaders failed to reach an agreement on phasing out fossil fuels, instead endorsing a target to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030 and committing to a “phasedown” of coal in line with national circumstances.
Modi, who sees the summit as India’s diplomatic maturation and seeks a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, celebrated the African Union’s accession to the G20, transforming it into a more inclusive “people’s G20.” He also proposed another G20 leaders’ meeting in November via video link, opening the door for Putin and China’s Xi Jinping to participate.
Lula stated that Putin would be welcome to attend next year’s event in Rio de Janeiro, even though Brazil is a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest on war crimes charges.
On the summit’s sidelines, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held face-to-face talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, marking a significant step in mending a decade-long rift between their countries.
World leaders paid their respects to Mahatma Gandhi, India’s revered independence hero, by visiting the site of his cremation. Many leaders, including Modi, walked barefoot in the rain-dampened area, while others wore slippers as a mark of respect. They observed a moment of silence and laid wreaths at the marble plinth that honors Gandhi’s memory.
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