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News brief From Bangladesh High Commission London

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reached Jakarta yesterday afternoon to attend the Leaders’ Summit in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

A Biman Bangladesh Airlines VVIP flight (BG-1086), carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage landed at Halim Pardana Kusuma International Airport at 2:50pm (local time).

Female Empowerment and Children Protection Minister Yohana Susana and Bangladesh Ambassador to Indonesia Major General Azmal Kabir received the Prime Minister at the airport.

After the warm reception, Prime Minister went through a ceremonial motorcade to Hotel Shangri-La at Central Jakarta City, a special capital region of Jakarta, where she will be staying during her visit.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday said there would be no gas crisis in the country after the completion of the construction work of the floating LNG terminal in deep-sea by 2018 and then natural gas would be imported from Qatar to meet the demand of the country.

The Commerce Minister told journalists after holding a view-exchange meeting with Qatar ambassador to Bangladesh Ahmed Mohamed Al-Dehaimi in the city.

The Minister said Qatar proposed to boost economic, trade and technical relations with Bangladesh and both the countries agreed to work jointly in those areas for mutual benefits. The Commerce Minister said Qatar has expressed interest to increase its investment in Bangladesh as it considers Bangladesh as a safe place for investment.

He said the entrepreneurs of Qatar will be given a suitable special economic zone for investment.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said Bangladesh is deeply committed to implementing and integrating the IORA Concord in her national development paradigm. He made the remarks while addressing the Council of Ministers (COM) of the IORA in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday.

The Foreign Minister called upon the fellow members to formulate and implement projects for economic co-operation relating to trade facilitation and liberalisation, promotion of foreign investment, scientific and technological exchanges and tourism with special and preferential arrangements for LDCs and SIDS of the region.

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday said, Bangladesh officially rejects the report released by the US as it was not made on the basis of proper information. He said Bangladesh can’t support such careless remarks about the internal affairs of any country. He said this while talking to reporters at the ministry.

About the US claim over the ‘increasing’ activities of extremist organisations in Bangladesh, He said, Bangladesh has been able to combat militant activities than the US government. Earlier on Friday, the US Department of State released the executive summary of the 2016 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

The World Bank will give Bangladesh US$300 million to strengthen the units of local government through establishing national budget transfers for all 4,550 Union Parishads and mainstreaming the annual financial audits of all Union Parishads. Kazi Azam, Secretary-In-Charge of the Economic Relations Division, and Qimiao Fan, WB’s Country Director for Bangladesh, signed the financing agreement on behalf of their respective sides at the Economic Relations Division yesterday.

The Local Governance Support Project-3 (LGSP3) will benefit over 115 million people across the country. The project will also pilot a fiscal transfer system for 16 Pourashavas (municipalities) in all eight Divisions.

Jute and Textile Minister Muhammad Imaj Uddin Pramanik said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken a fresh initiative to revive jute sector and trying her level best to add a vibrant commodity to nation’s export basket. The Minister was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the ‘National Jute Day’ for the first time in history.

The Minister said the observance of the first ever National Jute Day is a reflection of government’s sincere efforts for jute sector. The Minister said innovation and the diversified use of jute at local and international markets has opened up a new opportunity for jute’s u-turn. He also added that necessary incentives would be provided to jute sector for its new branding and global dominance.

State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim said Internet speed in Bangladesh has increased to 2-2.7mbps, 2400 times internet and data consumption growth between 2009 and 2016 as well as expansion of network facilities. She said the Posts and Telecommunications Division is now working for network expansion up to the union level.

– Press Wing, London, 07 March 2017

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