In a significant move, Nasrul Hamid, the State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, has reached out to the World Bank for collaboration in constructing power transmission lines connecting Nepal and Bangladesh. The aim is to facilitate electricity export to Nepal during the winter months. During a meeting with Pankaj Gupta, the World Bank’s South Asia Infrastructure Regional Director, Hamid expressed his hope for the World Bank’s financial backing and consultancy services for this ambitious project. Hamid underscored the pivotal role the World Bank could play in broadening their cooperative efforts. The process of importing electricity from Nepal is reportedly in its final stages.
The discussions encompassed a range of mutually beneficial topics, such as Strategic Policy Dialogue, Future Engagement, and the Power and Energy Sector Portfolio. The import of electricity from Nepal and Bhutan, cross-border energy trade, electric mobility, renewable energy integration, as well as advancements in battery technology and energy security were key areas of focus.
The World Bank’s South Asia Regional Director conveyed the institution’s keen interest in collaborating with Bangladesh on diverse projects. He highlighted the bank’s willingness to fund initiatives related to energy security, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the involvement of private entities in financing and participation. The urgent need to accelerate the gas metering project also received emphasis.
Hamid placed particular emphasis on the ongoing and upcoming projects backed by the World Bank. Notably, he shared details about the establishment of a power hub in Bangladesh’s southern region, outlining the requisite funding for transmission infrastructure and the preparation of smart grids. Additionally, he informed about the completion of wind mapping and the approval for generating around 10,000 MW of renewable energy. Investments in these sectors were highlighted as critical.
Furthermore, Hamid revealed a proactive initiative to replace antiquated gas pipelines with modern counterparts. The meeting saw the participation of key figures including Janendra Nath Sarkar, Chairman of Petrobangla, Humayun Kabir, Additional Secretary of Energy and Mineral Resources Division, Nurul Alam, Additional Secretary of Power Division, as well as World Bank representatives including Energy Practice Manager Simon J. Stolp and Operations Manager Gayle Martin. The outcome of this meeting signals a promising trajectory for collaborative efforts between Bangladesh and the World Bank in shaping the region’s energy landscape.
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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