Korea-Bangladesh Ties Grow
Bangladeshi Ambassador to Korea Shahidul Islam contributed the following article on the occasion of the 40th Independence and National Day of Bangladesh.
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the celebration of 40th Independence and National Day of Bangladesh.
On this day in 1971, Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh. We pay our homage to the valiant freedom fighters, who made supreme sacrifices for the cause of an independent Bangladesh.
Since independence, Bangladesh has been pursuing a policy of peace. Democracy has taken firm footing in Bangladesh.
The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been making all-out efforts to attain rapid economic development.
Thanks to the government's sound economic policies, Bangladesh was able to retain its growth rate at six percent in 2009, despite the recent global recession. The government is determined to raise the annual growth rate to eight percent by 2014.
With a large population and sustained economic growth, Bangladesh is poised to become a prosperous nation by 2021.
In its quest for economic development, Bangladesh attaches great importance to its relations with the Republic of Korea. The present government wants to further expand and deepen our existing friendly relations.
With this objective, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will pay an official visit to Korea this year.
Korea has always occupied a special place in our mind since the Nobel Lauriat Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore termed Korea as the ``Lamp of the East'' some 100 years ago.
We admire the Korean people for their success in transforming Korea into a developed country within a generation.
Korea's success inspires Bangladesh. To learn from Korean experience, over 1,000 Bangladeshi professionals have received training under KOICA programs.
Korean investors have played a key role in making Bangladesh one of the leading apparel and textile exporting nations in the world.
Korean company Youngone Corp. has established a Korean export processing zone to facilitate more Korean investment into Bangladesh.
Major Korean companies, including Daewoo, Samsung and Hyundai, have established close business relations with Bangladesh.
KT is engaged in installation of a nationwide broadband network.
The largest bridge in Bangladesh was built by Hyundai E&C.
Also, the largest fertilizer factory in Bangladesh was built by Daelim.
We welcome Korean firms to take part in our infrastructure development projects including establishment of power plants, development of oil and gas, expansion of green technology and construction of highways and bridges.
The government has recently approved the acquisition by GS Caltex of right to explore oil and gas in Bangladesh.
We are also working closely with KEPCO, KORES, POSCO and Luxon Global to facilitate their participation in the development of energy and power sector in Bangladesh.
Efforts are ongoing to establish mutually beneficial collaboration between the shipbuilding industries of the two countries.
On the global level, our two countries are cooperating closely to promote peace and stability in Asia and beyond.
As a major participant in the U.N. peacekeeping missions, Bangladesh appreciates Korea's increasing role in peacekeeping operations.
Bangladesh will also work closely with Korea on climate change issues that threaten the existence of humankind.
We believe that President Lee Myung-bak's ``Low Carbon, Green Growth'' strategy can significantly address global warming.
Bangladesh extends its support and appreciation for Korea's constructive role in revitalizing the world economy and hopes that Korea as the host of the next G-20 Summit will act as a bridge between developing and developed countries of the world.