Government Policy

Bangladesh’s participation in WEF contributes to branding country positively: Observers

DHAKA, Jan 22, 2017 (BSS) - Bangladesh's strongest ever participation

under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the just-concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2017 has successfully contributed to making "positive branding" of the country, further brightening its image on the world stage.

"The strongest ever participation of Bangladesh under the stewardship of honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the WEF proved to be 'very significant' to make positive branding of the country and highlight its achievements and successes in various sectors in the global arena," members of the Bangladesh delegation and leading economists of the country have observed.

State Minister for ICT Division Junaid Ahmed Palak said the participation of Bangladesh in the WEF annual meeting was very fruitful and successful to project Bangladesh as a 'role model' of development at the world stage as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has highlighted the country's tremendous socioeconomic successes before the global leaders.

The state minister said that during the WEF annual meeting, they have

highlighted the successes of Bangladesh in various fields over the last eight years to build 'Digital Bangladesh' and a middle income country by 2021 as well as discussed the various technologies that are putting impact on the digital economies and societies of the South Asian countries.

The four-day WEF annual meeting was held at Congress Centre in Davos, a mountain resort at Graub?nden in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland, from January 17-20 under the theme "Responsive and Responsible Leadership".

President Xi Jinping of China, who was accompanied by the largest

delegation of Chinese officials since the country first participated in an annual meeting in 1979, opened the meeting.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the Bangladesh delegation to the meeting and discussed issues relating to trade, commerce, development, climate change, water and security at global and regional levels.

Executive Chairman of the WEF Prof Klaus Schwab invited Sheikh Hasina to attend the Forum. PM Sheikh Hasina is the first elected Bangladeshi leader to join the high profile annual global meeting that draws statesmen, top business leaders and the intelligentsia to discuss crucial international issues.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for ICT Division Junaid Ahmed Palak, Principal Coordinator on SDGs at the Prime Minister's Office Md Abul Kalam Azad, Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque, Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim and Bangladesh Ambassador to Switzerland Shameem Ahsan, among others, accompanied the prime minister during her visit.

Heads of government and state from nearly 60 countries around the world including Sweden, Norway, Canada, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Peru, Jordan, Egypt and Qatar joined the WEF meeting along with heads of different international bodies like the United Nations, WTO, UNESCO, UNDP, UNCTAD, World Bank, IMF and ADB.

Principal Coordinator on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Prime Minister's Office Md Abul Kalam Azad said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the Davos meeting for the first time presenting the economic development, progress and success of Bangladesh.

He said nearly 60 heads of government and state took part in the 47th

Annual Meeting of the WEF. Besides world's big forums which have over two billion annual turnover gathered in the Swiss mountain resort.

Azad said all issues related to the contemporary economy were discussed in the WEF annual meeting.

Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said through the participation in the WEF in Davos, Bangladesh has gone to a "different level". "Its subsequent consequence would be seen later and it's difficult to quantify it right at this moment," he said.

The foreign secretary said Davos is such a platform where the government, non-government and the civil society would determine that how would be scenario of the world after 10, 20 or 30 years.

"The WEF speaks about future not the present," he said.

World Bank lead Economist in Dhaka Dr Zahid Hussain told BSS that the participation of Bangladesh for the first time under the leadership of the prime minister has contributed to successfully branding the country before the world investment community.

To make the scope fruitful, he said, Bangladesh would have to finish the work of establishing the economic zone within stipulated time and ensure all basic amenities including gas and electricity to the zones.

Eminent economist and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmed said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has successfully projected a real concept about Bangladesh's progress in investment and others sectors before the world community through the forum.

He said WEF invitation to the prime minister to its high-profile annual meeting has reflected the recognition of Bangladesh's outstanding socioeconomic success under Sheikh Hasina. Prof Ahmed, however, said the country would have to make more efforts for further development of various sectors, including infrastructure, to keep up the current pace of economy.

During her stay in Davos, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attended a number of events of the World Economic Forum and held talks with WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.

On January 17, the prime minister attended the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum at the Congress Centre in Davos. Before the inauguration of the plenary, WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwann called on Sheikh Hasina.

The Bangladesh prime minister joined a workshop titled "Shaping a New Water Economy" and attended an interactive session on "Harnessing Regional Cooperation in South Asia" at the Congress Centre on the day.

On January 18, the premier took part in an event titled "World's Underwater" as well as the plenary session on "Leading the Fight against Climate Change".

The prime minister addressed the "Digital Leaders' Policy Meeting on Jobs" of the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the special guest at Sheraton Hotel here in the afternoon on January 19.

This year, the WEF has chosen Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the special guest and a panelist in view of Bangladesh's 'demonstrated success' in digitization of economy (Digital Bangladesh).

During her talks with WEF Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the World Economic Forum (WEF) to arrange a meeting focusing Bangladesh and the regional economies.

"Bangladesh is ready to host such a meeting in Bangladesh," she said.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva. Recognized by the Swiss authorities as an international body, its mission is cited as "committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas".

The forum is best known for its annual meeting at the end of January in Davos. It brings together some 3000 top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals, and journalists for up to four days to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.

The 47th WEF annual meeting focused on five critical leadership challenges in 2017: strengthening global collaboration, restoring a sense of shared identity, revitalising economic growth, reforming capitalism and preparing for the "Fourth Industrial Revolution".

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)