Bangladesh has urged Germany to put pressure on Myanmar so that they can start taking their nationals back, noting that not a single Rohingya has been repatriated over the last two years.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen made the call during his meeting with German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas in Berlin on Friday, a senior official told UNB after the meeting.
Dr Momen conveyed his German counterpart that Myanmar agreed to take their nationals back from Bangladesh but till today they have not taken a single Rohingya back.
He asked German Foreign Minister Maas to put pressure on Myanmar so that they take their nationals back.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Imtiaz Ahmed was also present at the meeting.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown against Rohingyas in Rakhine State.
On Brexit issue, Dr Momen said Bangladesh does not want to see any uncertainty in the developed countries.
He said uncertainty will affect the emerging and small economies that are actively involved with the UK and European Union (EU).
German Investment Sought
The Foreign Minister invited the German car manufacturers like Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen to invest in Bangladesh and set up their assembly plants in the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar in Chattogram.
He described the Special Economic Zones set up by the government of Bangladesh in different places, and the presence of strong middle class and their growing purchasing power.
Apart from strong domestic market in Bangladesh, the Foreign Minister said the German investors can take advantage of connectivity with big markets of China and India, and Asean.
German investment was sought particularly in infrastructure development, IT, skill development of young force, renewable energy, capacity building of SMEs and other areas.
The two sides discussed ways effectively to look into the GSP-plus facility for Bangladesh when EBA expires due to Bangladesh's graduation from the LDC club.
Earlier, the Foreign Minister addressed the German Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA) in Berlin on Thursday and highlighted the investment opportunities on a win-win basis.
He called upon the German businesses to invest in Bangladesh taking advantage of business-friendly policies and environment in Bangladesh.
Dr Momen on Wednesday began his visit to multiple European countries as Bangladesh is giving much importance to boosting its exports to the European market through further diversification of products as part of its economic diplomacy.
The minister will also visit France, Italy and Greece.
From Berlin, the Foreign Minister will visit Paris from October 20-22 and attend an Economic Forum there apart from his other engagements.
The Economic Forum will be organised by the French Senate where representatives of BEZA and BIDA are also expected to attend.
The Foreign Minister will visit Rome, Italy on October 27 and Athens, Greece on October 28-29, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told UNB.
Meanwhile, Dr Momen will attend the 18th NAM ministerial meeting on October 23-24 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The NAM Summit, also to be attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will be held on October 25-26.
The Foreign Minister will return home on October 30.
Dhaka, Sept 30 (UNB) - Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has said financial sector leaders across the world must work not just to address modern slavery and human trafficking at the margins, but also by rethinking their business models to address the root causes and drivers – including financial exclusion.
“We must mobilize and act now. On the financial front, we must act on a crisis footing. We must use all our institutional power and leverage. Regulators and law-makers must do all they can to open up new opportunities offered by social business," he said.
Prof Yunus made the remarks while addressing report launching ceremony in New York recently on the sidelines of the 74th UNGA.
Final Report of the Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking was formally released in the UN as an important UN event, said Yunus Centre on Monday.
This Commission was set up during the UN General Assembly meeting of the previous year at the initiative of Government of Liechtenstein and joined by the Governments of Australia, the Netherlands, and the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research.
The Commission was formed to put the financial sector at the heart of global efforts to end modern slavery and human trafficking.
Target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals requires working to end modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030.
Today 10,000 people become victims of modern slavery and human trafficking everyday.
The Chair of the Commission was Fiona Reynolds, CEO of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment which represents over $80 trillion of assets under its management.
The Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, Adrian Hasler, was the Convenor of the Commission.
Co-convenors were the Foreign Minister of Australia Senator Marise Payne, Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Stef Blok and Prof Muhammad Yunus.
The Commission was formed with 25 commissioners from financial sector leaders.
The Commission held its meetings in Liechtenstein , Sydney, New York and Amsterdam during the past one year to finalize its report.
Prof Yunus, the Co-Convenor of the Commission, in his remarks pointed out that it is not a market failure which deprived almost half the population of the world unreached by financial services, it is clearly a system failure.
He said existing financial institutions are not built to reach the low income men and women. "World needs to create Banks for the Poor, particularly with social business principles, to fill that gap."
He emphasized that aiming at financial inclusion is not enough, our aim should be to achieve “zero financial exclusion”.
Dhaka, Sept 30 (UNB) - Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud attended the funeral of former French President Jacques Chirac in Paris on Monday morning.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France followed the coffin carrying the demised Chirac's body at Saint-Sulpice church in central Paris where other world leaders attended it included President Vladimir Putin of Russia, Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and former US President Bill Clinton.
The day was declared national day of mourning in France for the president who served the country from 1995-2007 and died on Thursday last at 86, said a press release.
Minister Dr Hasan is expected to return home on Wednesday morning.
Dhaka, Sept 30 (UNB) – Amid the overheated onion market, state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has decided to start selling onion at Tk 45 per kg in the city from Tuesday.
“There’s nothing to be panicked over the price hike of onion as there’s adequate stock of it at government silos, and the TCB will start selling onion through 35 trucks from October 1,” Commerce Secretary Md Zafar Uddin said while talking to reporters at the Secretariat on Monday.
The TCB will sell onion until its price becomes stable, he added.
The government has taken an initiative to import onion from Myanmar, Turkey and Egypt, while a big consignment of it has reached Chattogram port from Myanmar, said Zafar Uddin.
Legal action will be taken against those who will try to create any artificial crisis by stockpiling onion, he said.
The Indian government on Sunday banned the export of onions with immediate effect till further orders for what it says improving domestic availability.
Dhaka, Sept 30 (UNB) - Dr AKP Mochtan has assumed the post of Secretary-General of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) after being elected at the 61st Session of the Governing Body.
The APO membership includes Bangladesh, Cambodia, Republic of China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Dr Mochtan served as Deputy Secretary-General of Asean, from August 2013 until August 2019, where he oversaw the key organisational functions of finance and budget, human resources, administration, information technology, security and protocol, legal affairs, as well as community relations and outreach functions.
Prior to that, he was the Director of the Japan–ASEAN Integration Fund Management Team headquartered in Jakarta, November 2011–August 2013, said APO on Monday.
Secretary-General Mochtan has had a long association with the APO, headquartered in Tokyo.
He held several positions in the Secretariat, including Information & Public Relations Officer; Programme Officer, Research & Planning Department; Senior Program Officer, Industry Department; and Director, Administration & Finance Department.
He has also worked under the UN Development Programme, Jakarta Office; UN University, Tokyo; and UN Transitional Authority, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
APO Secretary-General Dr Mochtan said he is pleased to come back to the APO to serve member economies as the 12th Secretary-General.
The APO has an illustrious history of 58 years and 2021 is going to be its 60th anniversary. However, productivity gaps in the region remain visible, and new issues are emerging, he said.
“It’s imperative that we prioritise and renew the productivity movement so that the APO remains relevant,” said the new Secretary-General.
Dr Mochtan said his focus was the “centrality of productivity,” and listed six key points: Strengthening of partnerships; elevating the standards of the APO; attaining higher visibility and raising the profile of the APO; upgrading national productivity organizations; inviting more strategic partners to join collaborative efforts; and spreading the productivity movement beyond existing members.
He added that reform of the APO Secretariat was also necessary to reinforce the renewal of the productivity movement.