World’s outlook to Bangladesh has changed due to implementing Padma Bridge: HPM Sheikh Hasina


Pointing out the construction of Padma Bridge with the country's own funding, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina here said the world people's outlook towards Bangladesh has changed for the implementation of the mega project.

"Those who're doing business abroad will see that the mentality of the world people towards the people of Bangladesh has changed due to construction of the Padma Bridge," she said while addressing a dinner at Hotel Sofitel here tonight.

"Their attitude towards Bangladesh has changed --it's a reality and everybody speaks by showing respect to Bangladesh," she said adding as a victorious nation, Bangladesh will move with dignity.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Thailand Saida Muna Tasneem, who is concurrently accredited to Cambodia, hosted the dinner in honour of the prime minister.

Bangabandhu's younger daughter Sheikh Rehana was present at the dinner.

Sheikh Hasina said, "There was a challenge for us with the Padma Bridge and there was a notion of many people that we couldn't construct the bridge without the World Bank assistance."

"But I said that we can do it and we will do it ... we're not ready to accept the false blame. It's right that we faced difficulties, despite that we had taken it a challenge," she said.

The prime minister said Bangladesh has proved that it can build such a mega project with own financing. "We're constructing the bridge with our own materials like cement and steel," she said.

Mentioning that Bangladesh and Cambodia have similarities in many sides, the prime minister said bilateral relations between the two countries should be deepened further.

She said the two countries have become victims of genocide, while their people had to struggle for the freedom. The present Cambodian prime minister had gone through immense pain and sufferings, she said.

"Coming to Cambodia, it seems that I am still in Bangladesh as it's beautiful country. We should discover it meaning paving the way for trade and business," she said.

Sheikh Hasina also called for strengthening diplomacy in a way so that business, trade and commerce could be further enhanced in south, south-east and Euro-Asian countries and particularly in the neighbouring Cambodia and Thailand.

In this regard, she urged the business leaders to look for more new markets for Bangladeshi new products saying they have to find demands in the international markets and produce goods in Bangladesh considering availability of raw materials.

Putting emphasis on strengthening connectivity with the neighbouring countries, she said such initiative would help promote trade and business.

The prime minister mentioned that the government is advancing with farsighted specific plans to develop the country so that it does not need to depend on others.

She said that the aim of her government is how to improve the socioeconomic condition of the country, alleviate poverty further, to give better life to the people alongside changing the fates of the people at the grassroots level.

She also emphasized the need for increasing the size of the domestic market as well as boosting exports.

Renewing her call to the Bangladeshi businesses to find out newer markets not only relying on the market of the bigger countries and the western countries, she said her government wants to boost FDI inflow as well as trade and commerce through keeping up good relations with the neighboring countries. "Then we won't have to rely on others, rather we'll stand on our own feet," she said.

Pointing out the UNESCO's recognition to the 7th March Speech of Bangabandhu, she said, the people of Bangladesh have been honoured through such a big recognition.

The prime minister regretted that after the 15th August 1975, this historic speech was banned in radio and television as well as in other public functions.

"A generation has grown up learning distorted history as they could not know the real success stories of the victorious nations," she said.

The prime minister expressed satisfaction that her government has now been able to protect the nation from distortion of the history of great liberation war.

On the occasion, the prime also enjoyed a cultural programme arranged focusing the historic 7th March speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Bangladeshi artistes living in Thailand, Cambodia and other neighbouring countries performed patriotic songs and recited poems.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, PM's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Chief Coordinator on the SDG Affairs at the Prime Minister's Office Md Abul Kalam Azad, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Huq and PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, among others, were present on the occasion.

Photo: Saiful Islam Kallol

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