The Peoples Republic of Bangladesh is a South Asian Country and located on the fertile Bengal Delta. Bangladesh emerged as independent country on 16 December 1971 after nine months of bloody war.
On the occasion of 44th Independence and National Day, I pay my homage to all those who sacrificed their lives and went through immense suffering for an independent Bangladesh. I avail myself the opportunity to pay my deepest tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who led the country to independence through his charismatic leadership. As we celebrate the day, I convey my heartfelt greetings and felicitations to my countrymen living in Kuwait.
In last 44 years the achievements of Bangladesh on various fronts are significant. To mention a few, Bangladesh has established a globally competitive garments industry, moved ahead of many of the neighbouring countries in particular areas of human development and gender parity, extended micro-credit to 25 million women, and drastically reduced aid dependency through the robust growth in remittances. Country is now producing sufficient food to feed its 160 million people.
It has 18 million self-employed women in rural areas, with a further 4 million women working in the ready-made garment sector. Bangladesh has, indeed, made considerable progress during the past five decades overcoming floods, cyclones and drought.
There are about 8.5 million Bangladesh nationals working overseas, in 155 countries in the world. They remitted more than $15 billion in 2014. Bangladesh is also a leading global exporter of ready-made garments, second to China, and earned over $ 20 billion last year. It is exporting medicine to more than 87 countries mainly to USA and Europe. It has become one of the leading ship builders and ship exporting country.
There are around 115 million cell phone subscribers in Bangladesh. Goldman Sachs highlighted Bangladesh as one of the next 11 emerging economies and JP Morgan identified it as a ‘Frontier Five’ Economy. Bangladesh has been included among the top 5 countries of the world in the field of economic growth by achieving an average growth rate of 6.38 percent during the past five years.
Bangladesh is now predicted to be a country of middle income by 2021 when it will be celebrating the golden jubilee of its glorious independence. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics Report says at present the per capita income of Bangladesh has crossed US$ 1190 mark.
Continuation of current growth rate will take this per capita income up to US$ 1,235 by 2016. Besides this, Bangladesh is advancing towards fulfilling Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to poverty alleviation, gender equality and health and education. Bangladesh has already met health related targets of the MDGs.
According to the United Nations, the country is making major strides in human development, including significant progress in the areas of gender equity, universal primary education, empowerment of women, reducing population growth, energy.
In order to keep pace with the modern, information technology (IT) based world the government of Bangladesh has taken digital technology as the tool for building a Digital Bangladesh. The government has rendered digital facilities starting from digitizing the delivery and payment system of sugarcane growers to different other services like agricultural information, healthcare information, educational information, admission and examination results to educational institutions up to the union and individuals levels.
The role of export processing Zones (EPZs) of Bangladesh has been expanded to create jobs and financial activities in the industrial sector. Various financial and non-financial incentives are offered to foreign investors to set up industrial establishments in the EPZs. The Board of Investment (BOI) in the country is promoting industrial investments and rendering policy and advisory services on setting up industries by foreign investors.
Bangladesh has taken a leading role in the UN, and elsewhere, to enhance peace, promote dialogue and encourage cooperation. It recognizes UN peace-keeping to be an indispensable and cost-effective tool in the maintenance of international peace and security. Based on this principle, Bangladesh has played an important part in UN peacekeeping, participating in 54 Missions involving 126,489 peacekeepers.
Today, Bangladesh is one of the largest contributors to UN peacekeeping operations around the globe with 9,618 serving at present. For the World Peace so far 118 soldiers and men have make their supreme sacrifice.
Bangladesh hosted the T-20 World Cup 2014 with participation of 18 Cricket-Playing Nations. Asia Cup Cricket Tournament-2014 was also held in Bangladesh and is now participating in ICC World Cup 2015.
For a favourable and conducive foreign policy, multinational cooperation with other nations has been expanded in last four decades. Bangladesh got special momentum in its achievements on diplomatic frontiers through its principle of ‘Friendship to all malice towards none’.
Bangladesh is continuously engaged with other nations for mutually beneficial bilateral relations based on the principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and no-interference in internal matters. Bangladesh will remain committed to continue with its stand against all forms of terrorism, extremism and radicalization.
Bilateral Relationship with Kuwait
Kuwait is the first Gulf country that recognized Bangladesh after its liberation in 1971. Bangladesh and Kuwait are enjoying an excellent bilateral relationship since its recognition of Bangladesh as an independent country in November 1973. Bangladesh Mission in Kuwait is operating since April 1974.
His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited Bangladesh from 10-11 June 2006. Honb’le Prime Minister of Bangladesh H.E. Sheikh Hasina along with a high-level delegation paid a historic visit to Kuwait in February 2010. During her visit, 4 agreements were signed between the two friendly countries.
Hon’ble President of Bangladesh H.E. Md. Zillur Rahman visited Kuwait in February 2011 to participate in Kuwait’s 50th Anniversary celebrations and in October, 2012, to participate in the First Asian Cooperation Development (ACD) Summit.
During these visits Honb’le Foreign Minister of Bangladesh accompanied the delegations. In January 2014, agreement on ‘Avoidance of Double Taxation was signed with Kuwait which will facilitate more investment and trade from both sides.
We became a shared partner of Kuwait in 1991, deploring the aggression and working for the liberation of the country. Bangladesh Military Contingent (BMC) is supporting Kuwait till now. So far 69 Bangladeshi men/troops sacrificed their lives in line of duty.
Kuwait has also become an important partner for the development of Bangladesh through funding many development projects in Bangladesh. The trade volume between the two friendly countries is growing rapidly in last few years.