April 20, 2015
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In pledging her support for Presidential aspirant Hilary Clinton, US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has lauded Bangladesh’s empowerment of women in politics. She said: “We want to set the example of women empowerment that Bangladesh has established. Not only the PM, leader of the opposition and Speaker of the House are women, but women also lead major political parties. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is now a global phenomenon in the realm of women empowerment.”
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova has commended Bangladesh's success in education saying that countries lagging behind in achieving Education for All (EFA) goal can follow its example. She said Bangladesh is moving forward towards inclusive education within the target of 2015 due to present government's political will and commitment to education. She also lauded the role and commitment of Sheikh Hasina and Bangladesh's achievement in MDGs and EFA well ahead of 2015.
Tsukamoto, a Japanese company, will recruit 10,000 Bangladeshi workers for its construction, care-giving and nursing concerns. Japan and Bangladesh will sign a MoU sometime in May in this regard. A delegation from Tsukamoto recently visited Bangladesh to discuss the recruitment process. The company will employ Bangladeshis in its priority categories and also arrange training for the selected candidates on Japanese language and other necessary matters.
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
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The central bank of Bangladesh sees the country's economy resilient despite occasional disturbances by opposition and natural disasters because people are hardworking and adaptive to both natural and manmade disasters. In the booklet ”Bangladesh: A Stable and Vibrant Economy”, the central bank projected the country may achieve at least 6.5% GDP growth by the end of current fiscal year. For the upcoming 2015-16 fiscal year, the government is expecting 7.5% GDP growth.
A $302 million World Bank project is helping Bangladesh improve its rural road networks. The project titled “RTIP II” is providing approximately 22 million people with facilities such as better access to schools, hospitals, markets and jobs. The project is also building the capacity of government institutions to better manage rural transport infrastructure. The project aims to improve and maintain around 5,250km of union and Upazila roads and 50 growth center markets in 26 districts.
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUITY
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Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman has said that the poverty rate of the country would go down to 8.3% or even at lower level by 2030 should the country expedite infrastructure development process. Poverty rate declined consistently by nearly 2% over the last few years, along with making significant improvements in other social indicators. The current Awami League government has brought down the poverty rate from 31% in 2010 to the current level of 25%.
Interplast, a non-profit organization that provides free plastic surgeries in developing countries has assured Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina of its all-out assistance in setting up a separate burn and plastic surgery institute in Dhaka along with burns units across the country. The assurance came when a nine-member delegation of Germany, Netherlands and Hungary chapters of Interplast met the Prime Minister at her official residence Ganabhaban on Sunday evening.
INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL COOPERATION
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USA and China have made fresh offers to increase economic cooperation and assistance to Bangladesh. This was expressed recently to the Bangladesh Finance Minister by the respective envoys of the two countries. USA has offered assistance for Bangladesh from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) to finance regional connectivity projects. On the other hand, China has also expressed interest to offer more soft loans to Bangladesh, with low interest rates and good grace periods.
Bangladesh and India are set to operate trial bus service on the newfound Dhaka-Sylhet-Shillong-Guwahati route from 2nd May with the greater aim of adding a new dimension to regional connectivity. The trial run of the bus service will continue for a week or more to ascertain the number of buses required and fix the schedules in keeping with the trans-border traffic load. The move is expected to boost tourism on both sides as well as facilitating travel for purposes of commerce and trade.
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