Visiting World Bank (WB) Vice President for the South Asia Region Hartwig Schafer today highly praised Bangladesh's tremendous socioeconomic development, saying that they will continue to support for the country's development strides.
"We'll keep up our support for further development of Bangladesh," he said when a World Bank delegation led by him paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her Jatiya Sangsad office here this evening.
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
The World Bank vice president said Bangladesh attained stunning socioeconomic development in the last one decade and other countries could replicate it.
He said Bangladesh has grown from extreme poverty to a middle income country in the last five decades and praised the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in this regard.
Schafer commended the remarkable development in Bangladesh's health sector particularly in reducing the child and mother mortality rates and also praised the women empowerment in Bangladesh.
He put emphasis on collaboration on various sectors including power between the countries on the basis of a win-win situation.
Schafer, who visited Ghorashal river port in Bangladesh, stressed the need for further development of the communication system and said that the rail rink could be potential for the country's development.
As the World Bank vice president comes from rural area, he laid emphasis on rural development saying, "Rural development is very important."
In reply, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that her government has been implementing massive development programmes in a planned way.
"Our focus is to ensure overall development of the country, particularly the advancement of the rural people," she said.
Describing communication and electricity as important for the country's development, he said, "We have given emphasis on the waterway alongside the road and rail as it is the cheapest mode of transportation."
Mentioning the BBIN and BCIM Economic Corridor initiatives, the premier said it will increase connectivity between the countries of the region.
About the BBIN, she said that India has agreed to give transit to Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
In this context, Sheikh Hasina said Syedpur Airport is now being developed to turn it into a regional hub as India, Nepal and Bhutan are very close to Bangladesh.
About the development of power sector, the premier hoped that the entire country will be brought cent percent electricity coverage in the next two years.
Regarding creating of jobs, she said her government has been establishing 100 economic zones which will generate huge employments.
The prime minister also apprised the World Bank vice president of Bangladesh's success in women empowerment. "Initially, we had to face obstacles to this end. But, we have been able to overcome it. Now, women are working in all sectors such as army, navy, air force, police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB)," she said.
PM's Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed, among others, were present at the meeting.