DScE seminar recalls Bangabandhu’s contribution to language movement

Speakers in a discussion said that Bangladesh was created by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman which started from the Language Movement.

They said this at a seminar on post language movement and international language movement day observed on Monday by Entrepreneurial Economists club, Dhaka School of Economics (DScE).

They argued that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is trying her best to improve the quality of Bengali Language and they recommended modification of Bengali dictionary.

The speakers also appealed to give Sadhinata Padak to late Professor Mobasher Ali, as a selfless fellow of the father of the Nation for his outstanding contribution in research, who wrote 43 very important books in his lifetime.

Mobasher Ali was awarded MTC award from India for literary contribution, Ekushey Padak and Bangla Academy Padak.

Prof Dr Anisul M Islam, Freedom Fighter and Prof of Economics, University of Houston, USA was present in the program as the chief guest. He praised Dr.Yasmin Ara Lekha of pro-VC of Uttara University, for contributing a research book on Prof Mobasher Ali.

Moazzem Hossain freedom fighter and Founder of the University of Skill Enrichment and Technology, speasent as special guest, designated discussant was Prof Dr Milton Biswas, Prof Dr Nurur Rahman Khan, Prof.Dr.Muhammad Mahboob Ali, Rehana Parvin, Assistant Professor of DScE and Shamim Ahmad , Lecturer, DScE also spoke on this occasion.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber president meets Argentine business delegate in Dhaka

Md Anwar Shawkat Afser, president of the Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, met Franco Agustín Senilliani Melchior, head of the Economic and Trade Section of the Embassy of Argentine in India, at a Dhaka hotel Monday.

Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber board of directors also met the Argentine business delegate.

Afser highlighted trade and commerce between Bangladesh and Argentina as well as Latin America. He also mentioned that a high-profile business delegation from Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber will visit Argentina and Brazil from May 12 to 17.

The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber will organise the visit.

Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman will lead the delegation. The executive chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) will also be part of the team.

Afser, Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber Senior Vice-President Md Shahid Alam, Joint Secretary General and Director Md Sayem Faroky; directors Md Shakawat Hossain Mamun, Jobayer Ahmed, Razeeb Haider, Noafel Bin Reza, Md Kawser Hossain; Coordinator Biswajit Roy, Administrative Officer Nazrul Islam Chowdhury, and Assistant Secretary Mohammad Emdadur Rahman were present at today's meeting.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Bangladesh attractive destination for business, investment: Momen tells Argentine delegation

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Monday said Bangladesh made “significant strides” in improving its infrastructure, streamlining regulatory processes, and creating a conducive environment for foreign investment.

“Our strategic location, skilled workforce, and abundant natural resources make us an attractive destination for business and investment,” he informed his Argentine counterpart Santiago Cafiero, and the business entrepreneurs and investors of Argentina.

Momen said that the Bangladesh government is building one hundred specialised economic zones to attract private investments.

The two ministers had a bilateral meeting which was followed by a dinner in honour of the Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship.

“We had an extensive discussion—I should say a fruitful and productive one –in which we exchanged views and ideas on how to expand and consolidate the existing bilateral relations as well as explore new and emerging areas of cooperation,” he said.

The two countries signed a number of instruments – an agreement on exemption of visa for the holders of diplomatic and official passports, agreement on football cooperation and memorandum of understanding between the Foreign Service Academies in the field of diplomatic training.

“I am confident that signing of these agreements and MoU will greatly facilitate our enhanced engagement and lead to fruitful cooperation in other areas,” Momen said.

Argentina was one of the leading South American countries to recognize independent Bangladesh, on 25 May 1972.

“We attach great importance to our relations with Argentina. The relations between Bangladesh and Argentina have always been cordial based on shared values and friendship,” Momen said.

“I truly believe we have so much to offer and benefit from each other. We need to explore the untapped potentials,” he said.

“What never changed is our love for the great football of Argentina. I wish the bond we have through football will be felt in other sectors as well,” Momen said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

30 percent life insurance clients not getting their claims

Chairman of Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) Mohammad Zainul Bari on Monday said around 30 percent of life insurance customers are not getting their claims.

He said this while speaking at a press conference on the occasion of National Insurance Day-2023 on March 1. Other members of the IDRA were also present at the press conference.

In a written speech Zainul Bari said that in 2022, the gross premiums of the insurance sector stood at Tk 16812 crores. Out of this, the gross premiums of life insurance is Tk 11399 crore and non-life is Tk 5413 crore.

During the crisis period, the insurance sector provided greater liquidity to the banking sector of the country.

Besides, Tk1305 crores of VAT and taxes have been deposited in the treasury of the government on premiums earned by life and non-life insurance companies during 2022.

He said that IDRA is moving forward with a specific plan to achieve the goal of a developed, prosperous, smart Bangladesh by 2041 through the development of the insurance industry.

For the development of the insurance sector, the work of the Bangladesh Insurance Development Project has been started with a total cost of Tk 632 crore, including government funding of Tk 118.50 crore and World Bank Tk 513.50 crore. The project has been extended till December 31, 2023.

Referring to different problems in the insurance sector, he said, the main problem of insurance is a lack of awareness and lack of literacy.

“We failed to highlight the importance of insurance in front of people. Could not adopt product selection, and policy in keeping with the time. Besides, we have failed to pay insurance claims in time,” he added.

Around 30 percent of life insurance claims are not paid. Due to these reasons, people are disappointed and mistrusted with insurance. That leaves people wondering how else to get compensation without insurance.

“We have identified these issues, which will be resolved gradually through the development of the insurance sector,” he pointed out.

Through this project, the IDRA, Bangladesh Insurance Academy, General Insurance Corporation, and Life Insurance Corporation will be further enhanced in professionalism and technical capacity, IDRA Chairman said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Islamic State land mines in central Syria kill 10 workers

Land mines left behind by the Islamic State group in central Syria went off in two different locations on Monday, killing 10 workers as they were collecting truffles in the countryside and wounding 12, state media reported.

According to Syria's state news agency SANA, the two mines exploded east of the central town of Salamiyeh. All the casualties were taken to a hospital in the town, the report added. It wasn't immediately clear what had triggered the explosions.

It is not uncommon for mines left behind years ago, when IS controlled large parts of Syria, to go off inadvertently, usually when stepped on, inflicting casualties.

IS was driven out of all the territory it once held in Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2019, but the extremists left behind countless bombs and booby traps, and large areas have yet to be cleared. The militant group’s sleeper cells still carry deadly attacks both in Syria and Iraq.

SANA said the first explosion on Monday killed nine people and wounded two while the second killed one person and wounded 10.

Earlier this month, IS sleeper cells attacked workers collecting truffles near the central town of Sukhna, killing at least 53 people, mostly workers but also some Syrian government security forces.

The truffles are a seasonal delicacy that can be sold for a high price. Since the truffle hunters work in large groups in remote areas, IS militants in previous years have repeatedly preyed on them, emerging from the desert to abduct them, kill some and ransom others for money.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Meghna Life Insurance premium now through Nagad

Customers can now pay premiums of Meghna life Insurance in the comfort of their home using Nagad, a mobile financial service of the Bangladesh Postal Department.

Besides, they can buy different insurance products through the Nagad app offered by the insurance company.

To this end, Nagad and Meghna Life Insurance Company Limited recently signed an agreement at the latter’s head office in the capital’s Motijheel area, says a press release on Monday..

Because of this partnership, the clients will easily pay monthly, quarterly, and yearly premium of Meghna Insurance Company’s different products, such as Ekok Bima (ordinary life insurance), Loko Bima (micro life insurance), and Islami Bima Takaful (Islami Shariah-based ordinary life insurance). They can also pay insurance policy renewal fees using Nagad wallet.

On behalf of Nagad, its Chief Commercial Officer Md Shihab Uddin Chowdhury, Head of Business Sales Department Mohammad Mahbub Sobhan, Deputy General Manager of FI and Insurance Md Bayezid and Key Account Manager of Business Sales Department Tapash Ahmed were present at the signing ceremony.

On the other hand, Chief Executive Officer of Meghna Life Insurance Company Limited NC Rudra, Deputy Managing Director and CFO Mohammad Tarek, Executive Vice President Saifuddin Ahmed, and Senior Vice President (Administration) Mia Md Mashiur Rahman represented Meghna Life Insurance Company at the event.

Chief Commercial Officer of Nagad Md Shihab Uddin Chowdhury said, “We are working towards bringing more and more people into the fold of digital financial transactions. In fact, Nagad also wants to come up as a complete financial solution to meet all day-to-day needs of its customers.”

“As part of our efforts to reach this goal, we have made this partnership with Meghna Life Insurance Company, which will facilitate premium payments of our customers,” he added.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Japan’s Nissan accelerates shift to electric vehicles

Nissan is speeding up its shift toward electric vehicles, especially in Europe where emissions regulations are most stringent, the company said Monday.

Nissan Motor Co. said in a statement that it will make practically all its offerings in Europe electric or series-hybrids by fiscal 2026, at 98%. That's up from the previous target of 75%. In Japan, the company aims to make 58% of its model offerings, up from an earlier target of 55%.

Hybrids have both a gasoline engine and electric motor, but a series hybrid uses the motor to power the vehicle’s wheels, or powertrain. The engine powers a generator for the motor. Parallel hybrids, like Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius, switch back and forth between a gas engine and electric motor.

Nissan’s sales target in EVs and series hybrids remain unchanged for the U.S., at more than 40%. In China the target was cut to 35% from 40%. That includes only pure EVs, not hybrids.

Nissan's target numbers do not include expected vehicle sales of Nissan’s alliance partners, such as Renault SA of France or Mitsubishi Motors Corp., a smaller Japanese carmaker.

The company was an early leader in electric vehicles, with its Leaf, which went on sale in 2010. It has been overtaken since then by newcomers like Tesla and Chinese automaker BYD.

Nissan officials say the company, based in Yokohama, have a wealth of knowledge about EV technology, especially about how consumers use the products, and what kind of wear and tear develop on the battery and other knowledge critical for the proliferation of green cars.

Nissan plans to roll out 19 electric vehicle models by 2030, up from an earlier 15, it said.

Earlier this month, Nissan said it will invest in up to a 15% stake in Ampere, Renault’s electric vehicle and software entity in Europe. Nissan and Renault have been working together on EV technology, with Nissan taking the lead in developing a next-generation battery.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Chinese company to invest $8.7 million in Ishwardi EPZ

IHM Garments and Textile Company Limited, a Chinese firm, is going to establish a garment manufacturing industry in Ishwardi EPZ with an investment of $ 8.7 million.

An agreement to this effect was signed between Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) and IHM Garments and Textile Company Limited at BEPZA Complex, in the capital on Monday.

Ali Reza Mazid, a Member (Investment Promotion) of BEPZA, and Yu Binbin, Chairman of IHM Company signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.

The Executive Chairman of BEPZA Major General Abul Kalam Mohammad Ziaur Rahman, ndc, psc witnessed the signing ceremony.

This fully foreign-owned company will produce 2.6 million pieces of Woven Tops and 10.6 million pcs of Knit tops and Pants for Ladies, Kids, and Men annually. IHM Garments and Textile Company Limited will create employment opportunities for 2457 Bangladeshi nationals.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

France to unveil new economic, military strategy in Africa

French President Emmanuel Macron will unveil on Monday his country’s changing economic and military strategy in Africa in the coming years, as France’s influence substantially declines on the continent.

Macron is expected to call for a more balanced partnership with African nations, in a speech at the Elysee presidential palace before he begins an ambitious Africa trip on Wednesday to Gabon, Angola, the Republic of Congo and Congo.

Monday’s speech comes at a time when France’s influence on the continent is facing more challenges than it has in decades.

In less than a year, French troops had to withdraw from Mali, which turned instead to Russian military contractors, and most recently from Burkina Faso, which also appears to increasingly look towards Moscow.

A growing anti-France sentiment has led to street protests in several West and North African countries against the former colonial power.

In addition, historical economic ties that France had with the region are being challenged by the growing commercial presence of Russia, China and Turkey.

“It’s not a trip that aims at getting into the race to regain a regretted influence,” a top official at the French presidency said. The trip isn’t aimed to “try to get back to the past. It’s more to respond to a demand for partnership, for relations, but with new methods and a new approach,” he said.

The official was speaking on condition of anonymity in line with the French presidency’s customary practices.

Macron is notably expected to detail changes that France will bring in its military deployment in the Sahel region.

Last year, he announced the formal end of the so-called Barkhane military force after France withdrew its troops from Mali. French operations to help fight Islamic extremists in the Sahel region are now focusing mostly on Niger and Chad, where the country still has about 3,000 troops.

Macron in recent years insisted any French presence in Africa should be based on “partnership” in efforts to move away from post-colonial interference.

“Faced with the strategic threats ahead, whether it’s war in Ukraine, economic shock, pandemic shock, it’s crucial that Europe and Africa are as aligned as possible and get, let’s say, as intimate as possible in their dialogue,” the French official said.

Macron, 45, is the first French president born after the colonial era. He has previously sought to extend France’s cooperation with English-speaking countries, like Ghana and Kenya, and increase French investments in Africa’s private sector.

During this week’s tour, he will notably visit Portuguese-speaking Angola, with the aim to develop links especially in the fields of agriculture and food industry as well as energy, including oil and gas.

Yet Macron’s tour this week in central Africa already faces questions.

Some opposition activists in Gabon have denounced his visit, which they perceive as bringing support to President Ali Bongo Ondimba, whose family has ruled since the 1960s, before the presidential election scheduled later this year.

Similar questions have been raised in Congo before a December presidential election.

“Before, during and after this trip, the president of the republic, like all French authorities, will show strict neutrality regarding these elections,” the French top official said.

The Elysee stressed that Macron is coming to Gabon mostly to attend a major climate-related summit focusing on the preservation of forests.

He will also seek to show France’s attachment to improving economic and cultural relations with two French-speaking countries, neighbouring Republic of Congo and Congo, not only via talks with authorities, but also by establishing links with local populations, entrepreneurs, artists and activists, according to the Elysee.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

2 Khulna journalists acquitted from ICT case

A tribunal on Monday acquitted two journalists from a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology Act in 2017.

Khulna Divisional Cyber Tribunal Judge Kanika Biswas pronounced the judgment at noon in presence of the accused.

Those acquitted are acting editor of Dainik Somoyer Khobor Kazi Motahar Rahman Babu and its reporter Shohag Dewan.

On May 18, 2017, a report was published in the Bangla daily headlined ‘Complexities again in recruiting staff in Khulna Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court! President resigned’.

Tapan Kumar Saha, then acting administrative officer of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate filed a case in this connection against Babu and Shohag.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

‘Drug peddler’ found dead along riverbank in Magura

Police on Monday recovered the body of a suspected drug peddler from the bank of the Kumar River at Nijnanduali village, on the outskirts of Magura town.

The deceased, Bably Molla, was a resident of the Barunatail area of Magura town.

Locals spotted the body and informed police.

Police recovered his body this morning, said Mustafizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Magura Police Station.

His body was sent to Magura Sadar Hospital for an autopsy, he said.

A case was filed in this regard, the OC added.

Source: United News of Bangladesh

Huawei dominates MWC mobile tech fair despite US sanctions

A contingent of Chinese companies led by technology giant Huawei is turning out in force to the world’s biggest wireless trade fair, aiming to show their muscle in the face of Huawei’s blacklisting by Western nations concerned about cybersecurity and escalating tensions with the U.S. over TikTok, spy balloons and computer chips.

After three years of pandemic disruption, tens of thousands from the tech industry have descended on Barcelona for Monday's start of MWC, formerly known as Mobile World Congress, an annual industry expo where mobile phone makers show off new devices and telecom industry executives peruse the latest networking gear and software.

“China is very much coming,” John Hoffman, CEO of wireless industry trade group and event organizer GSMA, told reporters.

Attending are 150 Chinese companies out of 2,000 exhibitors and sponsors, with Huawei Technologies Ltd. having the biggest presence. The smartphone and network equipment maker is expanding its footprint by 50% from last year and taking up almost an entire vast exhibition hall at Barcelona's Fira convention center, organizers said.

That is striking considering that Huawei has been at the center of a geopolitical battle over global technology supremacy that's left parts of its business crippled by Western sanctions.

The U.S. three years ago successfully pushed European allies like Britain and Sweden to ban or restrict Huawei equipment in their phone networks over fears Beijing could use it for cybersnooping or sabotaging critical communications infrastructure — allegations Huawei has denied repeatedly. Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have taken similar action.

Huawei declined to comment ahead of the show's opening. The company's supersized presence at the show is a sign of defiance, said John Strand, a Danish telecom industry consultant.

Huawei wants to “give Biden the finger,” Strand said of the U.S. president. The company’s message, he said, is: “Despite the American sanctions, we are alive and kicking and doing so well.”

U.S.-China tech tensions have only grown.

A suspected Chinese spy balloon downed by a U.S. fighter jet sparked acrimony between Beijing and Washington in recent weeks.

U.S. authorities have banned TikTok from devices issued to government employees over fears the popular Chinese-owned video sharing app is a data privacy risk or could be used to push pro-China narratives.

The U.S. also is seeking to restrict China's access to equipment to make advanced semiconductors, signing up key allies Japan and the Netherlands.

That followed the MWC expo four years ago becoming a battleground between the U.S. and China over Huawei and the security of next generation wireless networks. In a keynote speech, a top Huawei executive trolled the U.S. over its push to get allies to shun the company's gear.

Huawei hasn’t gone away, and the dispute continues to simmer. Washington widened sanctions last month with new curbs on exports to Huawei of less advanced tech components.

Still, the company has maintained its status as the world's No. 1 maker of network gear thanks to sales in China and other markets where Washington hasn't been so successful at persuading governments to boycott the company.

Strand, who has been attending MWC for 26 years, said Huawei wants to show the world it’s pivoting away from mainly making networking gear — the hidden plumbing such as base stations and antennas connecting the world's mobile devices — and becoming an all-round tech supplier.

The company is reinventing itself by supplying hardware and software for cargo ports, self-driving cars, factories and other industries it hopes are less vulnerable to Washington.

“Since MWC is a global event, they (Huawei) will want to communicate on this and showcase that they are still a key player in the telecom and high-tech industry,” said Thomas Husson, a principal analyst at Forrester Research.

Huawei also makes smartphones but sales outside China cratered after Google was blocked from providing maps, YouTube and other services that usually come preloaded on Android devices.

“The Huawei consumer brand has collapsed in Europe,” Husson said. At MWC, “Huawei may well announce new consumer smartphones and new consumer devices, but the brand has lost momentum and these announcements are primarily for fast-growing markets outside the U.S. and Western Europe.”

Huawei is just part of the larger Chinese delegation, whose turnout is getting a boost from China lifting all COVID-19 travel restrictions. ZTE, another Chinese tech company that had been sanctioned by the U.S., plans product launches at MWC.

Chinese mobile phone makers Honor, Oppo and Xiaomi will have a strong presence, said Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight. Honor was Huawei's budget brand but was sold off in 2020 in hopes of reviving sales by separating it from the sanctions on its corporate parent.

“The removal of COVID restrictions in China has made it possible for these manufacturers to attend the show in force," Wood said. "They are all keen to establish themselves as the ‘third alternative' to Apple and Samsung in European markets and see MWC as a pivotal event to do that.”

Pre-pandemic in 2019, MWC drew 109,000 people, with 6% from China. The event was canceled in 2020 and held in limited form in 2021. Last year's event attracted 60,000 visitors but was overshadowed by the omicron COVID-19 variant.

Source: United News of Bangladesh