Bangladesh is moving forward at an irresistible pace, dispelling all misconceptions of the pessimists about the future of independent Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the Parliament on Wednesday.
"In the year of the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh's Independence and Bangabandhu's birth centenary celebration, the UNCDP recommended the graduation of Bangladesh as a developing country in 2026. It's a matter of pride for us," she replied to a question tabled by Awami League lawmaker Momotaz Begum.
She added that her government has taken steps for undertaking and implementing plans to face the challenges following the graduation from a least developed country (LDC) including measures to formulate a strategy and action plan over Preferential Market Access and Trade Agreement in a bid to expand the export market.
Further, the country has taken initiatives to sign Preferential Trade Agreements (PTA), Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPA) with different commercially important countries, she informed.
"Initially, the government has taken a step to sign trade agreements with 10 countries-- India, Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Singapore, the USA, Canada, China and Malaysia-- and three alliances on a priority basis. Bangladesh meanwhile signed a PTA with Bhutan on December 6, 2020."
Besides, a process continues to conduct negotiations with Turkey, South Africa, Morocco, Mauritius, Senegal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya and GCC countries over PTA, FTA or CEPA, she continued.
A booster dose was administered to 7 lakh 41,265 people
The Prime Minister informed the house that 7 lakh 41,265 people have received booster doses from 28 December till 17 January this year.
Answering another question tabled by the lawmaker from Tangail-6 Ahsanul Islam, Sheikh Hasina said the government had given priority to vaccination, free of cost, as soon as the Covid outbreak started globally.
"We took all kinds of measures to collect and administer the vaccine before innovation and approval of any vaccine. As a result, the free vaccination programme started on 7 February 2021 and has been continuing until now," she said.
She also informed that as many as 14 crores 61 lakh 84,812 people received vaccine of whom 8 crores 91 lakh 63,978 people received the first dose and 5 crores 70 lakh 20,834 the second dose until 17 January.