KARACHI: The Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Karachi Mahbubul Alam in his address under the auspices of QAHM, Institute of Nation Building, to the members of Board of Governors Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) said that Bangladesh had become a role model for the developing countries.
He said that Bangladesh’s progress had been recognized by the United Nations for development and termed as a “remarkable success story.”
He added that 100 Specialized Economic Zones had been set up and achieved as Millennium Development Goals. He said that 2021 marked a very significant year for Bangladesh as they celebrated their 50th anniversary of independence. According to an IMF report, Bangladesh is one of the three countries of the world that has achieved the highest economic growth until 2021.
He said from nearly no foreign reserves the country’s foreign exchange reserves today stood at US 47 billion dollars. He said Bangladesh was utilizing its manpower and became a middle-income country with a per-capita GDP of $2,554; which is growing further and fast and the life expectancy has risen to 73 years.
He said that an International Prize for the Creative Economy had been set up at UNESCO as Banglabandhu prize. He said that Bangladeshis are working all around the world at prestigious positions and that remittance earnings from expatriates working abroad had reached a record $ 21 billion in 2021. After attaining Vision 2021 now they are working on vision 2041 wherein Bangladesh will join the list of developed countries.
They had worked upon “One House One Farm Project” called Asrayan Project, meaning shelter for all. Bangladesh’s economy was improving at the rate of 5.47% in the preceding years and now is producing 25000 MW of electricity bringing its 100% population under electricity coverage.
It provides free textbooks, which number 400 million copies each year. The current enrolment rate in primary school was 98% and the number of universities in Bangladesh has risen to 170. Bangladesh now has 300 state-of-the-art pharmaceutical companies which meet 97% of the domestic needs and export to 70 countries across the world. Bangladesh had become the second highest troop provider to UN peacekeeping missions in the world.
He requested the Pakistani investors to come forward with more investment and higher trade with Bangladesh. He assured all possible support for the potential businesspersons and investors for wider economic relationships between Bangladesh and Pakistan as the government embarks on higher growth trajectories and policies for NGOs and SMEs making its population, including women, self-reliant. Bangladesh has launched the Banglabandhu Satellite-1 to join the prestigious club of space countries, he added.
The Chairman KCFR, Ikram Sehgal, praised Bangladesh for its remarkable progress, which had defied Henry Kissinger’s calling the country an “International Basketcase”.
He praised construction of the Padma bridge project without any external financial assistance and proposed that Pakistan and Bangladesh should increase exports to each other. He said Pakistan imports tea from Bangladesh and spends almost $ 600 million on tea imports. He also raised the issue of stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh and said that this issue should be settled once and for all.
He urged that they should be given the right of citizenship as Pakistan has always been welcoming refugees into Pakistan as a very large number of Afghans have come and settled in large cities of Pakistan. He hoped that tariffs in the trade of both sides and visa requirements shall be removed and soon movements shall take place on visa-free entries into each brotherly country.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022