Sheikh Hasina Takes Oath as Bangladesh PM for Third Consecutive Term

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party won 288 out of 300 seats giving her a fourth straight term. With a political career spanning over four decades, she is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina has played a decisive role in bringing about a positive change in the country. Ms Hasina’s government has stirred annual growth in gross domestic product from 5.04% in 2009 to 7.86% in the financial year to June 30, 2018, and plans to invest heavily on priorities such as job creation and development.

The government’s Padma bridge project [a 6.1 km road-rail bridge across the Padma River to link southwest to the north and east Bangladesh] will add at least 1.2% to the GDP.

Ms Hasina’s government in a decade has leveraged Bangladesh’s foreign relations by signing India-Bhutan-Bangladesh and Myanmar-China-India-Bangladesh agreements. Also, trans-Asian highway, a big programme offered by Japan will open up huge economic opportunities, investment, trade, and business. Next year, Ms Hasina’s government is forecasting 8.25% growth rate and aims to achieve up to 10% by 2021. The government’s Padma bridge project [a 6.1 km road-rail bridge across the Padma River to link southwest to the north and east Bangladesh] will add at least 1.2% to the GDP. The country will by then have 100 new SEZs (Special Economic Zones) and plans to offer land to Japan, China, India letting them distribute the land to their own businesses as they wish. This will help develop all of the zones in two or three years.

FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) for Bangladesh has virtually tripled in 10 years and it’s on a meteoric rise every year.

The government feels their export basket is very limited and plans to expand it through newer avenues and markets to export goods. It has taken humungous efforts to attract investors and expand industries such as jewels, leather, food processing, and information & communication technology. Moreover, the government considers power, energy, and communications vital for economic development. 93% Bangladesh’s population now has electricity and the government aims to achieve 100% coverage by mid-2019. FDI for Bangladesh has virtually tripled in 10 years and it’s on a meteoric rise every year.

Ms Sheikh Hasina took oath as Bangladesh PM for the 4th time 
on Jan 7th, 2019 at Darbar Hall at Bangabhaban

During Ms Hasina’s tenure, the government has allowed many banks to start operations. While people get accustomed to utilizing the banking sector, the government plans to set up a commission overseeing it. Overall, investment is flowing and the economy is on a meteoric rise. With very little international attention, Bangladesh has become one of the world’s economic success stories. The ready-made garment industry is a vital factor in the country’s phenomenal success story. The country’s largest employer provides about 4.5 million jobs accounting for nearly  80% of Bangladesh’s total merchandise exports in 2018.

From mass starvation in 1974, the country has achieved self-sufficiency in food production for its 166 million-plus population. According to the World Bank, the population living in extreme poverty, classified as under $1.25 per day, has shrunk from 19% to less than 9% over the same period. On many fronts, Bangladesh’s economic performance has indeed exceeded even government targets and Sheikh Hasina plans to take the country further forward with her developmental policies.

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