Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (L) waves to children with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) during a welcome ceremony at the state guest house in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: Reuters
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today once again put emphasis on uninterrupted democratic process saying it could ensure development of any country.
"I think uninterrupted democratic process can only ensure uplift of any country," she said.
The prime minister said this while addressing a meeting with the members of the Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary League at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo this morning.
After the meeting, PM's Special Assistant Mahbubul Hoque Shakil briefed reporters.
Takeo Kawamura, a member of the House of Representatives of Japanese Parliament, led the members of the Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary League.
Hoque said the prime minister, at the meeting, hoped that the lawmakers of the two countries would work together for further development and said they could play an important role in further consolidating the bilateral ties between Bangladesh and Japan.
The aim of her government is to boost economic development and ensure welfare of the people along with strengthening of the democratic institutions, he said quoting the PM.
"Our aim is to boost our economic development and the social welfare of our people along with strengthening of the democratic institutions, the rule of law, good governance and empowerment of the people," Hasina said.
She also said her government is working hard to promote and strengthen our traditional secular ethos and pluralism in our society as well as countering terrorism and extremism.
"Our goal is to increase the GDP growth rate to 8 percent by 2015, to 10 percent by 2017 and to sustain it to become a middle income country by 2021," she said.
The prime minister said in 2012-2013, Bangladesh posted a GDP of over US $ 133 billion and accumulated a foreign currency reserve of US $ 20 billion.
"Our macroeconomic stability has been sound and all economic indicators are showing positive progress," she said.
According to Goldman Sachs, she said, Bangladesh has been included in their list of "Next Eleven", and JP Morgan in their "Frontier Five".
Hasina thanked the members of the Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary League for their commitment to strengthen Bangladesh-Japan friendship.
The prime minister said the people of Japan supported Bangladesh's War of Liberation in 1971 and Japan was one of the first countries to recognise Bangladesh in February 1972, only a few weeks after our independence.
Paying tributes to the people of Japan, she said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, took the earliest possible opportunity to come here in October 1973.
"The visit cemented our two countries' relations and ever since Japan remained a trusted friend and steadfast development partner of Bangladesh," she said.
"Japan's support, particularly in the development of our infrastructure and human resources has been crucial to our progress forward in nation building," Hasina said.
The prime minister said thus, in the last five years, despite the global economic recession, natural disasters, and the adverse impacts of climate changes, Bangladesh was able to sustain the GDP growth rate of over 6 percent.
She said Bangladesh and Japan cooperate in all international arenas, particularly on critical issues like climate change, natural disasters, non-proliferation, global peace and stability.
In our common quest for enhancing bilateral relations, she said the Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary League has an important role to play in realising a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement between Japan and Bangladesh at the earliest.
The prime minister wished the League all success and thanked all the good friends of Bangladesh in Japan for being with Bangladesh in its journey to development and progress.
Mentioning that Bangladesh achieved tremendous progress in early warning system in disaster management, she stressed the need for joint cooperation of Bangladesh and Japan in this field.
The League members said there is a relation of mutual friendship between Bangladesh and Japan since the Bangladesh's independence in 1971.
They said that Japan is one of the first countries which recognised Bangladesh after the war of liberation while the Japan-Bangladesh Friendship League was established 10 years after the independence of Bangladesh.
The members also informed the prime minister that the Japanese companies are inclined to invest more in Bangladesh in various sectors.
The head of the delegation Takeo Kawamura said that this visit of Sheikh Hasina would further strengthen the friendly Japan-Bangladesh relationship as well as give this trusted relationship a new dimension.
He said this visit of Sheikh Hasina the economic relationship of both the countries as well as the cultural friendship would further get a boost.
Lauding the recent development in the Bangladesh's socioeconomic and infrastructural sectors, he said it has drawn attention of the whole world including Japan.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for Affairs M Shahriar Alam, M Abdul Latif, MP, Ambassador-At-Large M Ziauddin, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Hoque, PM's Special Assistant Mahbubul Hoque Shakil and Deputy Press Secretary Bijan Lal Dev were present, among others.
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