Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the Ukraine-Russia war is a meaningless war and only arms producers are benefitting from it.
"The lives of the general people are endangered," she said, adding that the war comes with sanctions and counter-sanctions threatening the global economy, reports UNB.
The prime minister also emphasised on diversifying the country's export basket to increase export earnings and thus lessen dependence on remittance for forex reserve.
She was speaking while inaugurating the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Centennial Technical Training Centre at Tungipara and 23 other such training centres in various upazilas across the country, virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.
"Developed countries are facing severe problems. They have now started to save electricity and fuel oil, they are in anxiety about food security and taking various steps for that," she said.
The prime minister said, "For having foreign exchange, we must not be dependent on remittances only, we also have to increase our export items through diversification and exploring new markets."
She asked all authorities concerned to look into what new markets demand and produce those for exporting there.
The premier said countries like Bangladesh, which have started a journey towards a specific goal to become developed, are facing severe hurdles due to this war.
"This is very much regretful. But we must not stop our advancement," she said.
Hasina noted that the war struck at a time when the world was facing the pandemic and resultant economic recession.
"To save fuel oil, all countries have taken various types of initiatives and we are also following them," she said.
The prime minister said it is very much normal that the foreign exchange reserves will sometimes be more and sometimes less.
"There are some people who are making hue and cry over this issue. I think it is enough if we have reserves for procuring three months' food," she said.
But she said the country should reduce its dependency on others for food items.
"We have to increase our own food production. We have fertile land; we can produce food easily. We have to adopt modern technology for not only producing food but also preserve those," she said.
She emphasised setting up new industries for food processing purposes, which can meet the domestic demands and earn foreign currency through exporting those.
She put emphasis on building skilled manpower as Bangladesh has a large number of young population.
"We are working on that. We want to build skilled manpower by training them, aiming to continue the pace of development."
PM Hasina said her government sent 96,30,505 workers abroad and received $21.03 billion during the fiscal 2021-22 in remittance which was five times higher than that of FY2005-06 during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.
"Due to corruption, irregularities and syndicate, the number of manpower exports during the BNP government had reduced significantly and they had only sent 25,20,902 workers in the fiscal 2005-06," she said.
She underlined the importance of imparting proper training to Bangladeshi people with priority on vocational, technical and science skills so they can cope with the advanced technologies and fourth industrial revolution.
She asked the authorities concerned to focus on giving training on how to drive heavy vehicles considering its huge demand abroad.
She stressed the need for working in unison of all the ministries concerned in case of manpower export.
"The home ministry is entrusted with issuing passports while the foreign ministry has to find out new labour markets, the industries ministry will give certificates and the expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry will send manpower abroad. Each ministry should work together to this end," she directed.
She also suggested forming a committee with a representative from each ministry to ease the work relating to manpower exports.
The prime minister also suggested including the civil aviation and tourism ministry in this regard.
She asked all concerned to make sure that the expatriate Bangladeshis can easily send home their earnings through banking channels as many of them are now facing difficulties in doing so and are allured to send money through illegal means, including hundi.
The relevant ministries can work together with consultation of Bangladesh Bank in this regard.
She also suggested entrusting an officer to oversee the wellbeing of the expatriate workers.
The PM advised the young generation not to fall into the false promises of brokers.
Those seeking abroad, in many cases, have lost everything including their lives and money collected from sales of ancestral homes and lands after being cheated by manpower brokers, she said.
She asked all to go abroad for jobs by taking loans from the Probashi Kallyan Bank, saying that loans are being disbursed without any security.
She hoped that more skilled manpower would be sent abroad through imparting them with proper training at the upazila level technical training centres.