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BD PM Sheikh Hasina’s remarks at SAARC Summit

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina felt the urgency of ‘Collective Political Will’ setting aside differences among the SAARC member states and ensure real progress of 1.7 billion South Asians. She urged the SAARC leaders to focus on undertaking more realistic and result-oriented partnership for cooperation to prosper together and to make a knowledge-based South Asia. She was delivering her statement at the opening session of the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu yesterday.

For the first time in the country, about 1.3 crore (13 million) people aged 60 and above will receive the status of ‘Senior Citizen’, which will provide them with identity cards to access health, transport and housing facilities at minimum cost. President Abdul Hamid will announce the senior citizen status for elderly people today at a function, organised by the social welfare ministry, at the Osmani Memorial Hall in the capital.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday reassured his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina of signing the Teesta water-sharing deal and implementing the Land Boundary Agreement, saying his government was working sincerely on the issues.

Saudi Arabia may extend the validity of work permits (Iqamas) of foreigners to five years from one currently. Over 1.3 million expatriate Bangladeshis in the Gulf country will be benefited if the proposed extension takes effect.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Kathmandu yesterday highly appreciated Bangladesh’s tremendous success in containing terrorism. Nawaz Sharif and Sheikh Hasina met at Crown Plaza Kathmandu – Soaltee – on the sidelines of the 18th SAARC Summit.

Bangladesh has moved to sign a bilateral transit deal with land-locked Bhutan aiming at smooth transportation of goods to and from there. The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) will soon arrange a meeting to take preparation for starting negotiation with Bhutan.

A three-day capacity building workshop for grassroots-level migrants’ rights activists was launched yesterday in the city. The workshop titled ‘National Migrants Rights Networks Capacity Building for Bangladesh Ovibashi Adhikar Forum (BOAF)’ was organised by WARBE (Welfare Association for the Rights of Bangladeshi Emigrants) Development Foundation.

Authorities will take tight security measures for the upcoming two-phase Biswa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of Muslims after the Holy Hajj, said State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan yesterday. The meeting decided not to allow Ijtema participants from five West African countries Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Mali and Guinea-as a precautionary step to prevent the spread of Ebola, he said.

US oil and gas giant Chevron is eyeing to invest more in oil and gas exploration activities in Bangladesh to meet the country’s mounting energy demand, Chevron Bangladesh President Geoffrey Strong told the media on Tuesday. Chevron has already invested around US$1.5 billion in the past one decade’s operation in Bangladesh, he said.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed left the capital yesterday morning to participate in the 30th session of the Committee for Economic and Commercial Co-operation of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) in Istanbul, Turkey.

Bangladesh in the Group 77 (G-77) meeting to be held in Tarija, Bolivia will call upon the member countries to formulate policies and related laws on priority basis for the proper utilisation of natural resources. Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu is to leave Bangladesh for Bolivia yesterday to attend the meeting. The meeting is scheduled to be held on 28-29 November.

The country now needs to accelerate its GDP growth to over 8 percent and maintain the present remittance growth to become a middle-income country by 2021 according to the editorial of the current ICCB (International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh) News Bulletin (July-Sept 2014 issue) yesterday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main component of India’s ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), yesterday expressed the Indian government’s firm support for the parliamentary elections held in Bangladesh in January that brought the Awami League to power for the second consecutive term. BJP General Secretary Ram Madhab voiced the Indian government’s support for the polls when a parliamentary delegation of Bangladesh, led by former minister and AL lawmaker Faruk Khan, met him at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, said a press release issued by the Bangladesh high commission in the Indian capital.

Bangladesh clinched the ODI series 3-0 when the Tigers composed a resounding 124-run victory over Zimbabwe in the third ODI at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The key index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, DSEX, fell by 0.99 per cent, or 47.83 points, to close at 4,756.61 points.

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