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Bangladesh spurred on energy investment

Publication Date : 25-06-2012


Germany's foreign minister Guido Westerwelle has suggested Bangladesh invest more in energy and education for future development of the country. Investing in energy and education must be the primary effort of Bangladesh as the country has the potential of development, Westerwelle said at a reception held in his honour by the Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) at a hotel in Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Saturday.

Westerwelle also described how Germany developed despite not having any fossil fuel. "Germany is rich in energy through adopting improved policies," the minister said.

"We need intelligent and smart solutions of energy problem for future development of the world," he said.

Westerwelle also urged investment in education for proper utilisation of the vast number of young people in Bangladesh.

"The best potential is that you have the young generation.

Use the potential of the young people," Westerwelle said, adding "During my short stay here I found people are out seeking opportunity and chances for changing their lots."

The minister also suggested Bangladesh work jointly with Germany on climate change issues. Climate change might be a global threat to security and peace in future, he feared.

"We should have global responses to the climate change scenarios. Germany would like to have partners like Bangladesh to work together for management of climate change," Westerwelle said.

Calling this visit a mere sojourn in developing bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and Germany, he commented that the potential of such relations is far from exhausted.

"The bilateral relationship between Germany and Bangladesh is based on longstanding partnership, not quick profit," he said.

"Our idea is working on developing partnership between equals for better networking," Westerwelle added.

He said that with the rise of the South Asian economies, the global financial structure is also changing, particularly the rise of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

He also mentioned the economic potentials of the next 11 emerging countries. The rise of new economic players does not mean that the old will be destroyed, he commented. Bangladesh has the potential to join the new ranks, he added.

At the reception, Promita Sengupta, programme coordinator of Gender, Governance and Rights of Dhaka based office of GIZ (German Development Cooperation) said the companies in Bangladesh are now maintaining social standard.

"Companies are reducing pollution. All the associations in the apparel industries are working together to reduce pollution and increasing the social standard," she said.

Shakhawat Abu Khair, president of BGCCI, said the biggest bilateral trade body BGCCI now boasts 350 members.

Between 2001 and 2011 exports to Germany grew 25 per cent and German imports to Bangladesh grew 42 per cent, he said.


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