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PM welcomes EU proposal for sending poll observers

PM welcomes EU proposal for sending poll observers

DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday welcomed European Union (EU) willingness to send an election observation team during the next elections in Bangladesh as outgoing EU ambassador Pierre Mayaudon called on her at the PMO.

“She appreciated the EU willingness and welcomed their proposal to send the election observer mission,” premier’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim told a news briefing after Mayaudon made the farewell call on.

The prime minister, he said, simultaneously appreciated EU assistance in preparing voter ID card with pictures ahead of 2008 general elections.

Karim said during talks the EU envoy praised the current political dynamics and existing peaceful political atmosphere in Bangladesh.

He said the Prime Minister sought enhanced Bangladesh engagement with the EU in boosting further the trade ties with European nations particularly willing to draw investments in economic zones being developed across the country.

“Bangladesh is establishing 100 economic zones across the country . . . European Union member states can invest in these economic zones for mutual benefits,” she told Mayaudon.

The envoy, Karim said, also laid importance on enhanced trade and investment relations with Bangladesh and appreciated the process made in Bangladesh-EU business dialogue to improve business environment in this South Asian country.

He said Mayaudon appreciated the premier’s personal commitment to further review Bangladesh’s labour law and draft EPZ law and Bangladesh’s positive success in terms of political engagement on labour rights issue.

He encouraged more Bangladesh’s participation in the Horizon 2020 of euro 80 billion undertaking by the EU and its member states to promote science, technology and innovation in collaboration with different countries including Bangladesh.

The premier told the envoy that she has instructed all concerned ministries to engage sufficient participation in the Horizon 2020.

EU ambassador expressed satisfaction over the move of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ saying he witnessed huge change here during his stay in Bangladesh.

The prime minister informed the EU envoy that Bangabandhu Satellite, first Bangladeshi artificial object in the orbit, would be launched in the coming December 16 subject to good weather.

The press secretary said the EU ambassador mentioned about Bangladesh’s huge potential in blue economy.

Regarding the labour rights in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu had formed the Awami League in 1949 to promote the rights of workers and peasants of the country.

In this connection she mentioned her government steps for wage hike of the RMG workers during the AL tenures.

She said that the government increased the wages of the garment workers from Tk 1600 to Tk 5300 since 2009.

For the welfare of the garment workers, she said, the government has constructed dormitories.

PM’s Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi and senior secretary of the PMO Suriya Begum were present, among others on the occasion.

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