In a powerful and compelling speech before journalists, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh addressed the nation’s journalists, shedding light on her recent diplomatic visits to Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Her visit showcased Bangladesh’s growing prominence on the global stage and marked significant milestones in strengthening bilateral relations with these influential nations.
From disaster management to trade partnerships and climate change, Hasina’s speech highlighted the critical issues discussed during her visits and the positive outcomes achieved. This article explores the key highlights of her speech and the pertinent details that underscored Bangladesh’s diplomatic triumphs.
Prime Minister Hasina spoke of the devastating cyclone ‘Mocha,’ emphasizing the government’s preparedness to minimize the loss of life and property. CBS News said that evacuations of hundreds of thousands of people appear to have prevented mass casualties on Monday. Only six people died, and 700 were injured, the network added.
“We opened 7,040 cyclone shelters in 13 coastal districts to shelter about 750,000 people,” the prime minister said. “Directives have been given to take up rehabilitation activities quickly in the affected areas.”
“Bangladesh has shown the world that even difficult challenges can be overcome through determination,” she added.
Strategic Partnership with Japan
During her visit to Japan, Prime Minister Hasina met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and discussed various areas of cooperation. The bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and Japan was elevated to a “Strategic Partnership,” marked by the signing of multiple instruments and memorandums of understanding.
These agreements covered diverse fields such as agriculture, metro rail, industrial upgrade, ship recycling, defense cooperation, and ICT and cyber security cooperation. Hasina secured Japan’s commitment to providing 30 billion yen in budget support assistance and sought their cooperation in repatriating Rohingya refugees.
“The elevation of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Japan to a ‘Strategic Partnership’ marks a significant milestone,” Hasina said. “The Japanese government assured that it will provide 30 billion yen ($4.3 billion) to Bangladesh as budget support assistance.”
Hasina and the World Bank
Prime Minister Hasina’s visit to the United States celebrated the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s partnership with the World Bank. During her discussions with World Bank President David Malpass and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Bangladesh’s remarkable progress in infrastructure development, poverty alleviation, and climate change mitigation was acknowledged.
The World Bank expressed its commitment to continuing cooperation and support for Bangladesh’s socio-economic development initiatives. Five loan agreements worth $2.25 billion were signed, focusing on regional trade, disaster preparedness, environmental management, and sustainable development projects.
“Bangladesh has never defaulted on its debt repayment or fallen into a so-called debt trap,” said the Bangladesh leader. “Bangladesh’s success in various indicators including poverty alleviation, combating climate change, and women’s empowerment is an example for other developing countries.”
Strengthening Ties with the UK
Prime Minister Hasina’s visit to the United Kingdom coincided with the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. She attended significant events and met with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, UK Foreign Minister James Cleverly, and Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland.
During the visit, “I called for more investment in Bangladesh from UK companies,” the prime minister said while explaining that her meetings with UK counterparts centered on climate change, renewable energy, and strengthening bilateral trade relations. A Joint Communique on Aviation Trade and Investment Partnership was signed, underscoring both nations’ interest in enhancing cooperation in the aviation sector.
“Bangladesh is an important country to the King because of the strong position of Bangladesh in climate change and renewable energy,” Hasina explained. “Bangladesh-UK Climate Accord and Aviation Partnership will play an important role in advancing the relations between the two countries in the future.”
Hasina also explained that her recent diplomatic visits to Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom have cemented Bangladesh’s position on the global stage.
Her speeches and discussions during these visits showcased the nation’s progress, achievements, and commitment to addressing critical issues such as disaster management, poverty alleviation, climate change, and trade partnerships.
The elevation of bilateral relations, signing of key agreements, and appreciation from international leaders all contribute to Bangladesh’s growing influence and reputation as a nation poised for further development and prosperity. Prime Minister Hasina’s tireless efforts and diplomatic achievements underscore her commitment to securing a brighter future for Bangladesh and its people.