On Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the war between Ukraine and Russia was a meaningless war and only arms producers profited from it.
“The lives of the general public are in danger,” she said, adding that the war comes with sanctions and counter-sanctions threatening the global economy, UNB reports.
The Prime Minister also emphasized on diversifying the country’s export basket to increase export earnings and thereby reduce reliance on remittances for the foreign exchange reserve.
She was speaking at the inauguration of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Centenary Technical Training Center in Tungipara and 23 other similar training centers in various upazilas across the country, virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence.
“Developed countries are facing serious problems. They have now started to save electricity and fuel oil, they are worried about food safety and are taking various measures for this,” she said.
The Prime Minister said, “To have foreign exchange, we must not depend solely on remittances, we must also increase our export products through diversification and the exploration of new markets.”
She asked all the authorities concerned to find out about the demand of the new markets and to produce those which will be exported there.
The Prime Minister said that countries like Bangladesh, which have embarked on a journey towards a specific goal to develop, are facing serious obstacles due to this war.
“It’s really unfortunate. But we must not stop our progress,” she said.
Hasina noted that the war broke out at a time when the world was facing the pandemic and the resulting economic recession.
“To save fuel oil, all countries have taken various kinds of initiatives and we are also following them,” she said.
The Prime Minister said that it is quite normal that foreign exchange reserves are sometimes more and sometimes less.
“There are people screaming about this issue. I think it’s enough if we have reserves to get three months’ worth of food,” she said.
But she said the country should reduce its reliance on others for food.
“We need to increase our own food production. We have fertile land, we can produce food easily. We need to adopt modern technology not only to produce food, but also to preserve it,” she said. .
She emphasized the creation of new industries for food processing purposes, which can meet domestic demands and earn foreign currency by exporting it.
She emphasized on building a skilled workforce as Bangladesh has a large number of young people.
“We are working on it. We want to build a skilled workforce by training it, with the aim of keeping up the pace of development.”
Prime Minister Hasina said her government sent 96,30,505 workers abroad and received $21.03 billion in fiscal year 2021-22 in remittances, which was five times higher than that of the 2005-06 financial year under the government of the BNP-Jamaat alliance.
“Due to corruption, irregularities and labor unions, the number of labor exports under the BNP government had drastically decreased and they only sent 25,20,902 workers in fiscal year 2005 -06,” she said.
She stressed the importance of giving proper education to Bangladeshis by prioritizing vocational, technical and scientific skills so that they can cope with advanced technologies and the fourth industrial revolution.
She asked relevant authorities to focus on heavy vehicle driving training given the huge demand overseas.
She stressed the need to work in unison with all relevant ministries in the event of labor export.
“The Ministry of Interior is responsible for issuing passports while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must find new labor markets, the Ministry of Industry will issue certificates and the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas employment will send manpower overseas. Each ministry should work together for this purpose,” she directed.
She also suggested forming a committee with a representative from each ministry to facilitate work on labor exports.
The Prime Minister also suggested including the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism in this regard.
She called on all concerned to ensure that expatriate Bangladeshis can easily send their income through banking channels, as many of them now find it difficult to do so and are tempted to send money. money through illegal means including hundi.
Relevant ministries can work in consultation with the Bangladesh Bank in this regard.
She also suggested having an agent look after the welfare of expatriate workers.
The Prime Minister advised the younger generation not to fall for the false promises of brokers.
Those who seek abroad, in many cases, have lost everything, including their lives and the money collected from the sale of homes and ancestral lands after being deceived by labor brokers, she said.
She asked everyone to go abroad for jobs by taking loans from Probashi Kalyan Bank, saying the loans are disbursed without any collateral.
She hopes that more skilled manpower will be sent abroad through proper training at upazila-level technical training centers.