Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Bangladesh received a high appreciation from the UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for commendable successes in achieving MDGs, poverty reduction, women empowerment, and transformation of its economy in the recent years.
APPG on Bangladesh met on 29 February 2016 at the UK Houses of Parliament. Chair of APPG, Anne Main MP, presided over the meeting, which was attended by, among others, Desmond Swayne, Minister of State for International Development, Baroness Shreela Flather and Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Paul Scully MP and Rupa Huq MP. Bangladesh High Commissioner in London Md Abdul Hannan was also present.
As a follow-up of his recent visit to Bangladesh, 23-24 August, Minister Swayne briefed the Group about how British development assistance created ‘value for money’. Claiming his visit as highly productive for the opportunity of engagements with top leadership, Ministers, senior officials, CSOs and NGOs, the Minister expressed his deep satisfaction on the success of his visit.
Minister Swayne profusely appreciated Bangladesh’s successes, in achieving MDGs, women empowerment, and the encouraging progress in the RMG sectors made by the Bangladesh Government in cooperation with the development partners. Other parliamentarians, who recently visited Bangladesh, also expressed their appreciation in the similar vein. Particularly, Desmond Swayne admired Bangladesh garment sectors’ remarkable transformation from low to high-value end products. He was amazed experiencing the contribution of these sectors for socio-economic empowerment of underprivileged women. Baroness Flather appreciated the Bangladesh Government for creating jobs for millions of women in these sectors, which impacted positively on addressing other social challenges like child marriage.
Bangladesh High Commissioner briefed the meeting on the socio-economic developments of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In reply to the queries made by the APPG members, he reflected on Government’s priorities and commitment on issues like eradication of child marriage, the status of implementation of Sustainability Compact. High Commissioner urged for more DFID resources for skill development and education. He also called upon the Minister to re-align UK’s development assistance in Bangladesh in support of the ‘Vision 2021’, Vision 2041 and the SDGs.