Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Bangladesh would be the 9th largest consumer market by 2030 with the government working with the goal of overtaking many established markets in the world.
“We’ve been working with a goal so Bangladesh could surpass established markets like the UK and Germany, and the current high-growth countries Vietnam and Thailand at that time. We’ve this effort,” she said.
The premier said this while inaugurating the 60 years’ celebration and Investment Expo, 2023 of Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at Hotel Radisson Blu in the city.
“There are some 17 crore people in our Bangladesh. Besides, we’ve strengthened connectivity with our neighbouring countries. We think Bangladesh would become the world’s 9th largest consumer market by 2030,” she said.
Noting that Bangladesh has a large population, she said the government is developing them as skilled manpower for its better utilization.
The PM said the number of growing middle class and rich people will be 3.40 crore by 2025 in Bangladesh and the estimated GDP per capita will be 5,880 US$ by 2040.
“Due to its strategic geographical location, Bangladesh can be the hub of the regional market of 3 billion people,” she said adding that her government has taken steps to strengthen the connectivity with this region.
The premier unveiled a research book titled ‘Catalyzing Greater FDI for Vision 2041’, which was published by FICCI.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the concession agreement on operation of Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) between Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) and Saudi Arabia's company Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) will help further enhance Saudi investment in Bangladesh.
"This concession agreement is a testament to our two countries' joint vision and steadfast commitment to economic cooperation and prosperity," she said.
The prime minister along with Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al Falih witnessed the signing ceremony at her office here as CPA Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Sohail and CEO of RSGT Jeans O. Foley inked the agreement.
The Saudi minister earlier paid a courtesy call on the Bangladesh premier at her office in the morning.
"As we witness the signing of this concession agreement, we look forward to a future where Patenga Container Terminal will become a driving force for economic growth and prosperity in Bangladesh," Sheikh Hasina said at the signing ceremony.
She said that the RSGT will operate the Patenga Container Terminal for the next 22 years that will strengthen bilateral relations, especially in the field of trade and commerce.
The Chittagong Port Authority's Patenga Container Terminal Project is a beacon of hope for Bangladesh's economic uplift, she added.
The premier said this self-reliant modern terminal will enhance the capacity of port, facilitate seamless trade, and create job opportunities and entrepreneurship.
"It will act as a gateway to global trade, opening up new opportunities for our businesses to connect with the world," she said.
The terminal will help boost regional economic growth as India, Bhutan and Nepal can also use the terminal, she also said.
Sheikh Hasina said the investment of Saudi Arabia in the Patenga Container Terminal will enhance the image of Bangladesh on the global stage.
The prime minister described Saudi Arabia as a friendly country and an important development partner for Bangladesh.
"The people of Bangladesh have deep respect and trust for the people of Saudi Arabia. We have always found Saudi Arabia close to our hearts," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the RSGT is a reputed global terminal operator designated by the Saudi government.
She also expressed her sincere thanks and congratulations to the Saudi government for appointing this terminal operator to operate the Patenga Container Terminal.
"This initiative of the Saudi authorities is undoubtedly a recognition of the ongoing development and economic potential of Bangladesh," she said.
"I hope that RSGT, with its reputation for managing Jeddah port and other terminals, will manage the Patenga container terminal with its skills and technical know-how," she added.
By doing this, the head of the government said the Chittagong port operations will become more efficient and meet international standards.
"Consequently, our economy will benefit from a significant decrease in import-export expenses," she said.
The premier also expressed her deep gratitude to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, for their trust and cooperation with the government and people of Bangladesh.
She thanked to the Saudi investment minister and his delegation for their firm support in the implementation of this project.
"Your commitment to the economic development of Bangladesh is deeply appreciated," she said.
PM's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al Falih and Chairman of the RSGT Aamer A. Alireza spoke at the function as State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury delivered the opening remarks.
Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh Essa bin Yousuf Al Duhailan as well as Saudi and Bangladeshi businessmen were present.
Awami League (AL) General Secretary
Obaidul Quader today said the AL is working to ensure a flawless democracy in
"The Awami League is working to ensure a flawless democracy in the country . . . The quarter which wants to foil the polls by enforcing hartal and blockade is not any more a democratic force," he told newsmen here today.
Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, said this while talking to reporters after paying tributes to Hossain Shaheed Suhrawardy by placing a wreath at his grave near Doyel Chattar in the capital, on the occasion of his 60th death anniversary.
He added: "I don't know whether absolutely flawless democracy or any perfect democracy exists anywhere in the world. But Bangladesh is working for it."
The AL is struggling to make the democracy of Bangladesh free from all sorts of defects and it has become possible to make an independent situation for the democracy in Bangladesh by dint of the personal efforts of the AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he observed.
Replying to a query of reporters on Awami League's Dhaka rally on December 10, the AL general secretary said, Awami Legaue decided to hold a rally on December 10 marking the Human Rights Day. But the decision was canceled as the Election Commission denied giving permission."
On the Human Rights Day, he said that the AL had a programme to hold a big rally at the South Gate of Baitul Mukarram, and now the rally will be held inside respecting the electoral rules.
Paying tributes to the memory of Hossain Shaheed Suhrawardy, Obaidul Quader said, "Hossain Shaheed Suhrawardy, a pioneer of democracy, was a fearless hero of the democracy."
Suhrawardy fought his whole life for democracy and served in jail many times by Pakistani forces, the AL general secretary added.
Awami League presidium member Dr Abdur Razzaque, joint general secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, organizing secretary BM Mozammel Haque, office secretary Barrister Biplab Barua, education and human resource affairs secretary Shamsunnahar Chapa, agriculture and cooperatives affairs secretary Faridunnahar Laily, deputy publicity and publication affairs secretary Syed Abdul Awal Shamim, deputy secretary Sayem Khan and executive member Sahabuddin Faraji, among others, were present.
A total of 253 arson attacks have been recorded till 6 am today during the blockades and hartals called by BNP, Jamaat and like-minded opposition parties since the end of October.
An arson attack was reported between 6 am on December 4 till 6 am today during the second day of the latest road, rail and waterways blockade called by the opposition parties.
The arson attack was carried out in Dhaka’s Gulistan area at 2:23 pm on Monday, said Shahjahan Sikder, deputy assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence headquarters’ media cell.
A total of 10 members of two firefighting units worked to douse the fire, added the fire official.
Giving a break today, the BNP and like-minded opposition parties are going to enforce another 48-hour road-rail-waterway blockade across the country starting from Wednesday morning to protest the schedule for the next national election announced by the Election Commission (EC).
Aspirants or banks or financial institutions will be able to lodge petitions with the Election Commission (EC) challenging returning officers' (ROs) decisions over rejection and acceptance of nomination papers from today as the scrutiny of the papers have been completed.
As the ROs today completed the scrutiny of the nomination papers submitted by aspirants to contest in the upcoming 12th Jatiya Sangsad (JS) elections slated for January 7, the aggrieved individuals or institutions could file petitions with the EC between December 5 and 9, said an EC press release here yesterday.
The aggrieved individuals or institutions have to file the appeal to the EC with a main copy of the petition in a memorandum format and six photocopies of it from 10:30am to 4pm everyday, it said.
The EC has set up 10 booths at the Nirbachan Bhaban here for the country's 10 regions to receive the petitions, the release said, adding that the EC will dismiss 100 petitions as per the serial number everyday from December 10 to 15.
After the hearing of the appeals, the verdicts will be displayed on monitor and the PDF copies of the judgments will be sent to the e-mail accounts of the respective parties, including the ROs and these will be published on the EC website.
The copies of the verdicts will also be distributed by respective officials from the reception desk at the Nirbachan Bhaban.
According to EC officials, a total of 2,712 aspirants, including 1,965 from 29 registered political parties and 747 independents, have submitted nomination papers to contest in the upcoming general elections.
As per the election schedule, the EC will settle petitions lodged challenging ROs' decisions from December 10 to 15 and the last date for withdrawing candidature is December 17.
The ROs will distribute election symbols among candidates on December 18.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Moday urged the authorities concerned to keep preservation of environment in mind while taking any development plan.
“Since I came to power I asked all to sketch plan for all cities. Whatever plan we take there should be emphasis on waste management and proper maintainace of flow of water,” she said.
The prime minister was speaking at a meeting on the presentation of the survey report and the policy decision for the adoption of the related project in the light of the master plan designed to prevent pollution and protect the navigability of the rivers around Dhaka at the cabinet room of her office (PMO).
She said that this is very regrettable that country’s development programmes were not taken in a planned way in the past.
Those who grabbed power illegally on August 15 in 1975 violating the constitution with arms did not pay attention on overall coordinated and planned development of the country, she said.
“As a result the environmental issues were neglected and rivers were grabbed,” she said.
She mentioned that After assuming power the aim of her government was to protect the rivers, return the navigability and save those from pollution.
“In the name of river training it was a normal phenomena to build embankments that heavily harmed fertile crop lands,” she observed.
Hasina recalled that during the first tenure her government started river dredging and used the silts for land reclamation.
“We have to do dredging and maintain navigability. We have to go for river dredging to stop river erosion,” she added.
She said that the industries that were constructed beside the rivers usually dump its wastes in the rivers.
“All wastes of the swearage lines also are dumped in the rivers. There is no plan for waste treatment. As a result the pollution has increased,” she said.
The PM said that It is very much painful that the Buriganga River stinks due to pollution.
“Whatever we do, we have to keep in mind first the waste management,” she said.
She also suggested to setting up small treatment plants in different parts of Dhaka city to save the rivers around the capital.
“We have to save our rivers if we want to save Bangladesh. We have to live with the floods. We have to always keep that in our mind. We need silt that comes with flood water,” she said.
For river training, the prime minister said that depth of a river has to be considered.
“We must create a buffer zone beside the river aiming to preserve the water that comes during the rainy season,” she said.
A total of 253 arson attacks have been recorded till 6 am today during the blockades and hartals called by BNP, Jamaat and like-minded opposition parties since the end of October. An arson attack was reported between 6 am on December 4 till 6 am today during the second day of the latest road, rail and waterways blockade called by the opposition parties.
Aspirants or banks or financial institutions will be able to lodge petitions with the Election Commission (EC) challenging returning officers' (ROs) decisions over rejection and acceptance of nomination papers from today as the scrutiny of the papers have been completed. As the ROs today completed the scrutiny of the nomination papers submitted by aspirants to contest in the upcoming 12th Jatiya Sangsad (JS) elections slated for January 7, the aggrieved individuals or institutions could file petitions with the EC between December 5 and 9, said an EC press release here yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Moday urged the authorities concerned to keep preservation of environment in mind while taking any development plan. “Since I came to power I asked all to sketch plan for all cities. Whatever plan we take there should be emphasis on waste management and proper maintainace of flow of water,” she said.