Let’s Talk on International Relations & Economy

Let’s Talk on International Relations & Economy

Young Bangla of the Centre for Research and Information (CRI) has organized it’s 45th Let’s Talk on 16th May 2023 at Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU), Chattogram. At this event, around 300 students from different parts and educational institutes of the Chattogram division participated to exchange their thoughts and ask questions to the policymakers on the topic “International Relations & Economy”.

“Friendship to all, malice to none” – based on this principle, Bangladesh has successfully maintained good relations with different countries, including its neighbors. Bangladesh is becoming economically prosperous due to the development of bilateral and multilateral economic relations at the international level. By exporting goods and manpower to the markets we get priority from, we earn a huge amount of foreign exchange, strengthening the base of our economy, reducing the country’s poverty rate, and increasing the standard of living. To strengthen the relationship with Bangladesh, many countries provide exchange facilities, scholarships, and funding to our students, young professionals, and entrepreneurs.

In this Let’s Talk event on International Relations & Economy, 4 distinguished panelists were present to answer the concerns and lead the policy discussion with the youths of the Chattogram division. The panelists were – Md. Shahriar Alam, MP, State Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, SM Shahjada, Member of Parliament, Dr. A.S.M Lutful Ahasan, Vice Chancellor of Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU), Kamrunnahar Mira, Joy Bangla Youth Award 2018 Achiever and the founder of All for One Foundation.
 
At the beginning of the event, MD. Shahriar Alam MP & State Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized the export business of Bangladesh since its one of the important elements of international relations. MD. Shahriar said, “Alongside RMG, we have now spread out our market with IT-related products, pharmaceuticals, sportswear, leather, etc.; so that we do not practice the mono-commodity economy.” 

 

The State Minister also highlighted that due to tariff-free export facilities with many countries, Bangladesh is now one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. He added that Bangladesh wants to lead in facilitating and enhancing regional connectivity.   
 
To address the issue of irregular immigrants asked by the participants, MD. Shahriar Alam MP said focused on the awareness generation process by the citizens alongside the security authorities. He said, “There are around 1 crore Bangladeshi immigrants in the world, and due to 10 to 20 thousand illegal immigrants their position can’t be compromised.” 

On the note of the economic safety of Bangladesh, the State Minister said, “The economy of Bangladesh is based on three aspects: agriculture, export, and remittance. The tendency of Bangladesh is to do more than its capacity – which is making it possible to increase the export from 60 billion to 100 billion in the near future, as well as perform well in other sectors. For example, if people go abroad by following the legal procedure of migration, the remittance of 20-22 billion will increase to 50 billion in no time.” He spotted a light on the fact that the government of Bangladesh does everything for the good of its people and only for the development of the country; there are no other groups of people benefitting from it. He said, “We had the vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2021 which we have accomplished. Though we have moved out of the LDC stage, other Least Developed Countries follow us as their leader. We have proposed in the recent LDC 5 in Doha, the three years of monitoring period will be increased to six years.”

S. M. Shahjada MP was asked a question about the workforce export of Bangladesh. He said, “The government of Bangladesh has taken initiatives to turn the unskilled population into a skilled population by introducing different initiatives. For example, about 80 Technical Schools are running under Bangladesh Technical Education Board. Many Bangladeshis are getting training under various ministries before going abroad. When everyone gets this technical education properly, no unskilled people will be left in the country.” 

The MP also provided a guideline on how young people can represent themselves abroad saying, “You have to remember that whenever you are going abroad, you are entering a global village. Hence, while abroad you have to maintain some common manners. For example, language is not a barrier as we think it is. It’s enough to communicate in the bare minimum language. But we sometimes commit some mistakes when we travel outside the country by not following traffic rules or throwing trash on the roads. All you have to do is just maintain these things and stay orderly so that they understand we come from a good country.”

The Vice Chancellor of CVASU, Professor Dr. A S M Lutful Ahasan said on the relation between Bangladeshi universities and foreign embassies, “When students of our country go abroad they create collaborations with faculties in that country. We have exchange programs and  scholarships in collaboration with other countries and many of our students attend those programs each year.” 
 

Kamrunnesa Mira, Joy Bangla Youth Award Achiever of 2018 said to the young participants today, “When I first traveled outside the country, I was only a 1st-year student submitting a research paper. I learned from my earlier experiences that we were brought up to behave well with others due to our geographical differences inside the country. We have to have the motivation for experiencing new cultures and exploring. Never think you are alone because there will always be a Bangladeshi Embassy there to help you.” 

Mira also shared her source of inspiration by saying, “I am an entrepreneur. What I notice is that this generation believes in leadership. With the advancement of digitalization when we see others getting skilled, we want to develop our skills as well. Besides, there are opportunities like the SME Foundation is giving loans at 4% interest and the government has reserved 500 crore taka for the entrepreneurs. We just need to pick our opportunities and utilize this to imprint our footsteps in the global economy.”

Young Bangla of the Centre for Research and Information (CRI) is one of the largest youth platforms in Bangladesh and it has been working with a large youth community for many years to hear the concerns of Bangladeshi youth and closely work with them. It hosts “Let’s Talks” to create an interdisciplinary platform for policymakers, researchers, practitioners, private sectors, and youths to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges and solutions in the fields of Youth Development. In this policy forum, panelists answer questions raised by the youth and recommend integrated youth-friendly development policies and actions to be taken for youth empowerment. 

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