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.
President Shahabuddin Encourages Youth to Embrace Modern Knowledge and Patriotism
President Mohammed Shahabuddin delivered a call to action today, urging individuals from all political backgrounds and viewpoints to collaborate in furthering the country’s ongoing development. He made these remarks during the opening of the “Smart Children Carnival 2023” at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in the capital.
During the festival’s opening ceremony, President Shahabuddin emphasized the importance of not taking actions that might hinder the country’s progress. He acknowledged the ever-advancing world and encouraged everyone to move forward with the utmost tolerance, mutual trust, and faith.
The President underscored the need to nurture children as “smart citizens,” equipping them with efficiency, creativity, progressiveness, a non-communal mindset, and patriotism to contribute to the realization of a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ in the future.
Key figures including State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Zakir Hossain, and various other officials and children representatives addressed the event.
President Shahabuddin outlined the national goal of establishing a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041, characterized by top-notch, world-class work and management based on smart technology. He encouraged the younger generation to embrace modern knowledge and apply it in their lives, emphasizing the importance of learning about Bangladesh’s Liberation War and its founding leader, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Additionally, the President extended warm greetings and congratulations to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her upcoming 77th birthday. He expressed his deep affection for all the children in the country and thanked the carnival’s organizers, highlighting the event’s role in fostering learning while enabling children to engage in sports, explore new technology, and make new friends.
President Shahabuddin urged local public representatives to provide necessary playgrounds for children who often spend excessive time using electronic devices, emphasizing the value of enriching knowledge beyond traditional textbooks. He emphasized that the country should be considered a family, and individuals should take the initiative to learn about their homeland.
The President also praised various development initiatives and the government’s commitment to realizing Vision 2021, aiming for a developed, prosperous, and smart Bangladesh by 2041 in line with the dream of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Furthermore, President Shahabuddin participated in an audio-visual exhibition that offered insights into the envisioned ‘Smart Bangladesh’ in 2041.
Bangladesh Celebrates Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s 77th Birthday
The nation will celebrate the 77th birthday of Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina today.
Born on September 28, 1947, in Tungipara, Gopalganj, Sheikh Hasina is the eldest of the five children of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatun Nesa Mujib.
Currently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is abroad attending the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session. Following in the footsteps of Bangabandhu, she addressed the UNGA in Bengali, as she has done in previous years.
Awami League (AL), its affiliated organizations, and socio-cultural groups will commemorate the day with various events highlighting Sheikh Hasina’s life and accomplishments. These activities will include discussions, milad (prayer gatherings), and special prayers held both in the capital and nationwide.
Sheikh Hasina spent a significant part of her early life in her birthplace, where she received her early education. Her family moved to Dhaka in 1954 when Bangabandhu was elected as a legislator.
She pursued her education at institutions such as Sher-e-Bangla Girls’ School and College and Azimpur Girls’ High School, where she completed her secondary education in 1965. She then enrolled at Badrunnessa Government Girls’ College.
During her university days, she served as the vice-president of the students’ union at Eden Girls’ College (which included Badrunnessa and Eden Girls’ College at the time). Subsequently, she pursued her master’s degree in Bangla at Dhaka University.
As a student leader, Sheikh Hasina actively participated in the historic six-point movement in 1966 and the student movement of 1969, which led to the abdication of General Ayub Khan.
In 1968, she married nuclear scientist Dr. MA Wazed Miah with the blessing of her incarcerated father, Bangabandhu. During the Liberation War, she and her family were confined to a house in Dhaka. On July 27, 1971, she gave birth to her first child, Sajeeb Wazed Joy. Her second child, Saima Wazed, was born on December 9, 1972.
Following the assassination of her parents in 1975, Sheikh Hasina and her family sought political asylum in India, where she resided until 1981, when she was elected as the president of the Awami League in her absence. She returned to Bangladesh on May 17, 1981, to a grand reception.
In the 1986 parliamentary election, Sheikh Hasina was elected as a Member of Parliament from three different constituencies. After the fall of autocracy in 1990, she was chosen as the Leader of the Opposition through the general elections of 1991.
In the 1996 general elections, 21 years after her father’s assassination, she led the Awami League to victory, assuming power as Prime Minister for the first time.
On August 21, 2004, Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped an assassination attempt as grenades were hurled at an AL rally on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital. Although she survived, the attack resulted in the loss of at least 24 lives and injured over 500 others, most of whom were Awami League leaders and supporters.
In 2008, she led the Grand Alliance to a resounding victory, securing 90 percent of parliamentary seats in the general elections and becoming Prime Minister for the second consecutive term. On January 5, 2014, she was reelected as Prime Minister.
Under her leadership, Bangladesh has achieved remarkable progress in various fields, including economic growth, self-sufficiency in food production, and advancements in women’s empowerment, agriculture, education, healthcare, infrastructure, communication, energy, trade, ICT, and SME sectors.
Her humanitarian efforts, particularly in providing support to over 1.1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, have garnered international acclaim. In 2017, the UK-based ‘Channel 4’ referred to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the ‘Mother of Humanity’ for her role in sheltering Rohingyas fleeing persecution.
Sheikh Hasina has received numerous awards and honors, including the Tagore Peace Award-2018, the Vaccine Hero award, and the Champion of Skill Development for Youth award. She has also been recognized with honorary degrees and accolades for her leadership and intellectual contributions.
Sheikh Hasina has authored more than 25 books, including ‘Mujib Amar Pita,’ ‘Living in Tears,’ ‘Sada Kalo,’ and ‘Amara Janaganer Kotha Bolte Esechhi.’
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.
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