Prime Minister seeks cooperation from Japan and OECD to maintain preferential facilities

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Photo: Collected

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (Friday) urged Japan and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to maintain preferential facilities at least until 2029 for Bangladesh’s smooth transition from least developed countries developing countries and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

“We would deeply appreciate if Japan and other OECD countries do this (to extend the preferential facilities) at least until 2029 to help us achieve the overarching goals of sustainable development by 2030,” he said. she declared. The Prime Minister said this in a video statement released during the 27th Nikkei International Conference on the Future of Asia. The two-day conference titled “Redefining Asia’s Role in a Divided World” is being held in the Japanese capital Tokyo in a hybrid format with both streaming and on-site attendance.

The prime minister said Bangladesh had won recognition from the United Nations for transitioning from a least developed country to a developing country in 2026.

“We are already taking various measures for a smooth graduation,” she added.

She said Bangladesh had urged friends and partners through the UN mechanism to consider extending preferential facilities to Bangladesh for an extended period beyond 2026.

“Bangladesh is at different stages of FTA negotiations with several countries, and is open to negotiating FTAs ​​and CEPAs with other countries, including Japan,” she said.

The Prime Minister reminded the conference that Bangladesh was hosting 1.1 million Rohingya forcibly displaced from Myanmar and that they should be returned to their homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in safety, security and peace. dignity.

“We ask all of you to contribute and help us find an amicable resolution to this crisis,” she said.

Describing Asia as the largest and most populous continent in the world, home to around 60% of the world’s population, she said it is also home to most of the world’s poor.

“Therefore, it is imperative to ensure peace between countries in conflict by resolving differences through discussion. Only by creating an environment of peace and stability can countries in Asia improve the condition socio-economic of the population,” she said.

In this regard, she said that Bangladesh follows the foreign policy of the Nation Father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman “Friendship to all and malice to none”.

This was recognized by a United Nations resolution, “Culture of Peace”, adopted in 1999, and every year, she said.

As governments of Asian countries, she said they have gathered here to share their views on the theme of this year’s “Future of Asia” conference.

The Prime Minister shared five ideas at the conference to build the Asia of the future, saying, “Let me conclude by sharing with you some ideas for your reflection.”

Sheikh Hasina, in his first proposal, said Asian countries should extend the hand of friendship, understanding and cooperation, and promote solidarity to face division.

In the second and third proposals, she said they could explore how the soft power of ICTs can best be used as a powerful tool to bridge the gaps between our countries and the need of Asian countries to preserve equity, respect, justice, inclusiveness and equality in actions and deeds.

The Prime Minister said while setting out her fourth and fifth ideas that the future of Asia will depend on sustainable and balanced development, improvement of international order and establishment of win-win international relations. and that Asian countries have common development challenges and should address them united and collectively.

In the Asia-Pacific region, she said, “we need to join forces to share best practices, knowledge and technologies to help address our common challenges.”

Bangladesh will always strive to work with all its friends and partners to ensure a peaceful and sustainable world and more importantly a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Asia for future generations, she continued.

The Prime Minister said that Bangladesh has just completed the celebration of the 50th anniversary of its independence and the centenary of the birth of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Sheikh Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh and Japan have enjoyed excellent relations since our independence in 1971. She said, “We remain deeply grateful for the invaluable support and contributions of Japan and its people, including schoolchildren, during our war of liberation. was among the first to recognize newly independent Bangladesh on February 10, 1972.”

In Bangladesh, over the past 13 years, the prime minister said he had made development people-friendly and inclusive. She said her government had redefined the socio-economic perspective to move forward with leadership and a vision to build a prosperous and modern knowledge-based nation.

“As such, we formulated Vision 2021 and Vision 2041 followed by Plan Delta 2100,” she said. At 50 years of our independence, the prime minister said he was delighted that the Sonar Bangla or Golden Bangladesh – which Bangabandhu dreamed of for the people of Bangladesh – was in the works.

“Bangladesh has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world and one of the largest economies in the Asia-Pacific region. In this journey, we have been supported by Japan and our friends and partners,” said- she declared.

Stating that Bangladesh, like the rest of the world, was heavily affected by the ongoing COVID-19, she said that before the pandemic in 2019, Bangladesh’s GDP growth rate was 8.15% and that in 2020, it could maintain a positive growth rate of 3.51% followed by 6.94% in 2021.

“We expect to achieve a growth rate of over 7% in the current fiscal year,” she said.

While grappling with the impacts of the pandemic, the Prime Minister said they had tried to strike a balance between lives and livelihoods. Indeed, her government could successfully handle the challenges of the pandemic relatively well, she added.

“Our efforts have been recognized in the Nikkei’s COVID-19 Recovery Index for April 2022, where Bangladesh is ranked 5th out of 121 countries and the top performing country in South Asia in managing and recovering from COVID “, she rejoiced.

She added that Bangladesh’s GDP is expected to reach $465 billion, merchandise export earnings over $52 billion, remittances over $21 billion and per capita income over $2,824. in the fiscal year ending June 2022.

She said Bangladesh has been active and vocal on climate change action in all speeches, including at the recent COP-26. She added, “We have assumed the chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum for 2020-2022 to make the voices of the 48 member countries most at risk from climate change heard.”

Bangladesh has been active in promoting dialogue for cooperation through regional and multilateral platforms such as SAARC, BIMSTEC, IORA, OIC, NAM, ARF, ASEM, CICA, Commonwealth, etc., he said. she stated. Bangladesh has raised the idea of ​​SAARC and BIMSTEC to promote regional cooperation, the Prime Minister continued. Source: BSS AH

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