Bangladesh - South Asia’s economic bull at 50 years of independence

March 26, 2021 - 07:07
Samina Naz, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Việt Nam writes to Việt Nam News to mark the 50th anniversary of the Independence and National Day of Bangladesh (March 26)

Samina Naz, ambassador of Bangladesh to Việt Nam writes to Việt Nam News to mark the 50th anniversary of the Independence and National Day of Bangladesh (March 26)

Bangladesh is celebrating 50 years of glorious independence on March 26, 2021. The year is also 'Mujib Year', the celebration of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh – Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the great architect of our liberation war.

Bangabandhu proclaimed the country’s independence on March 26, 1971. He dreamt of a 'Golden Bengal' – a society free from hunger, exploitation and oppression. On these occasions, I pay my deep gratitude and tribute to Bangabandhu.

In Bangladesh, we are celebrating these occasions by hosting a 10-day celebration in Dhaka starting from March 17 (the 101st birth anniversary of the father of the nation) till March 26 – the Independence and National Day.

Bangladesh is hosting state leaders from the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and India to join the festivities in Dhaka. Jordan’s King Abdulla II Bin Hussein, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, Cambodian PM Samdech Hun Sen, Secretary-General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, and Pope Francis have been delivering speeches virtually during the celebration programme.

A Vietnamese translation of Bangabandhu's speech. Photo courtesy of the embassy

Following the path of Bangabandhu, his able daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is leading the country towards progress and development and transformed Bangladesh into an economic miracle with sustained high growth during the last 12 years. Bangladesh with its pro-investment policies, huge domestic market, strategically important geopolitical location, political stability and its hard-working skilled people has become a lucrative destination for foreign investment.

According to the Centre for Economics and Banking Research of London, Bangladesh is expected to be the 25th largest economy in the world by 2035.

Bangladesh under the able leadership of the PM has done a remarkable job in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic while keeping our economy at almost full functionality. Even amid the pandemic, Bangladesh achieved a GDP growth of 5.24 per cent which is the highest among all Asian countries. She is named as one of top 3 "Inspirational Leader" in Commonwealth. The PM has been relentlessly working to turn Bangladesh into a developed country by 2041.

Bangladesh attaches great importance to its relations with Việt Nam. The current status of bilateral relations that so happily exists between the two countries have commonality and similarity of history of struggle for independence, socio-economic development, culture, livelihood and peoples are bonded by shared values.

In co-operation with the Bangladesh Embassy in Hà Nội, the country succeeded in increasing exports to Việt Nam last year. Bangladesh exported goods valued at US$86 million in 2020 to Việt Nam against $72.4 million in 2019 showing a higher trend, while Việt Nam’s exports to Bangladesh in 2020 were almost $694 million. The two countries aim to raise two-way annual trade to $1 billion soon.

The Bangladesh Embassy in Hà Nội is working relentlessly to promote Bangladesh and to maintain the stream of business contact and promotion of trade exchange and investment between the two countries.

In the near future, the Embassy of Bangladesh in Hà Nội and Chairman of Song Hong Group of Việt Nam, Đỗ Văn Trọng, are scheduled to open a Bangladesh –Vietnam Trade & Investment Information and Business Support Center in Hà Nội for speedy promotion of trade between Bangladesh and Việt Nam.  

On 10 January 2021, knowing many Vietnamese people were in dire need of blood, the Bangladesh Embassy with my stewardship and support from the 108 Central Military Hospital in Hà Nội organised a humanitarian voluntary blood donation programme, where I inaugurated the blood donation drive by donating my blood along with the Embassy’s Bangladeshi and Vietnamese officials and with Vietnamese friends. We selected the day as a joint occasion to pay a humble tribute to the father of the nation of Bangladesh on his homecoming day as well as it also carries a token of deep bondage between the peoples of Bangladesh and Việt Nam.

On March 17, the 101st birth anniversary celebration of the father of the nation, we had the opportunity to promote the bilateral friendship between Bangladesh and Việt Nam. An exemplary reflection of the deep friendship that exists between Bangladesh and Việt Nam was to bring out a publication by the Embassy of Bangladesh called Declaration of Independence Call of Bangabandhu – Historic 07 March Speech, which was registered by UNESCO as World Documentary Heritage, translated into Vietnamese.

It has been translated into all six official languages of the United Nations. It is a great sense of happiness for Bangladesh Embassy to publish it in Vietnamese to reach out all Vietnamese friends. We hope that the speech will continue to be a source of inspiration in Việt Nam and to contribute in scholarly research in Việt Nam.

President Hồ Chí Minh and our great leader Bangabandhu both envisaged the dream of free people and dedicated their lives to realise the dream. I pay my deep respect to President Hồ Chí Minh while paying homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. VNS