Side Event on Blue Economy, 29 May 2015

Embassy of Bangladesh, Bangkok

Press Release

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina praised for promoting ‘Blue Economy’ by a High-level Panel at the 71st  UNESCAP Session in Bangkok

30 May 2015: In a High-level Panel Discussion organised by Bangladesh during the just-concluded 71st Annual Session of UN Economic and Social Commission for the Asia and Pacific(UNESCAP) on, “Blue Economy for Sustainable Use of Marine Resources and Inclusive Growth”, leaders from Asia-Pacific countries praised Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for promoting the concept of Blue Economy regionally and globally in the post-2015 development debate. The Panel hosted by Bangladesh Minister of State for Finance and Planning  Mr. M. A. Mannan, MP, was deliberated among others by the Prime Minister of Cook Islands, Minister of Commerce and Industry of India, Minister of Environment and Agriculture of Kiribati, Minister of Agriculture and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management of Fiji, the Executive Secretary of UNESCAP, Philippines Under Secretary for National Economic Development, Asia Regional Director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Asia Regional Director of UNEP, and leader of delegations and Ambassadors of Bhutan,  Indonesia and the Russian Federation.

Bangladesh  Foreign Secretary, Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque made a thematic presentation at the event on Bangladesh’s foreign policy focus to promote inter-regional partnerships amongst the South Asian, ASEAN and Pacific Island countries to share knowledge, technology and best policy practices in seas-and-oceans-based sustainable development projects for generating livelihoods and inclusive growth in the post-2015 era. Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Mr. Mohammad Mejbahuddin in his welcome remarks invited South-South Cooperation in marine resource exploration in the Asia-Pacific region under the aegis of the ESCAP. The two leading international agencies working in the area of environmental conservation of natural and marine resources IUCN and UNEP, assured their full support in advancing Bangladesh's Blue Economy aspirations for the Bay of Bengal.

Organized at the initiative of Bangladesh Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the UNESCAP Ms. Saida Muna Tasneem, this was Bangladesh's first ever high-level side event at UN's Asia Pacific Commission. The Bangladesh initiative was highly praised by all participants including ESCAP Executive Secretary and UN Under Secretary General Dr. Shamshad Akhtar who pledged to include the issue of Blue Economy in ESCAP's agenda. Leaders shared their national initiatives and commitments on Blue Economy and stressed on the importance of better understanding the resources in our oceans and seas as also for generating important investments in this field.

In her statement Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Smt Nirmala Sitaraman also praised the Bangladesh side event on Blue Economy and stated that, " Given the closeness of India-Bangladesh relationship, the bonds of history and culture that unite us, and the importance that we attach to building a strong and enduring bilateral relationship, I am happy to share that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Bangladesh in the first week of June 2015".

             Later, Bangladesh's leader of the delegation State Minister for Finance and Planning Mr. MA Mannan MP was elected the Vice-Chair of 71st Commission’s Ministerial session and chaired the session's closing Plenary. In his country statement the Minister highlighted that Bangladesh in the face of natural disasters, world food price crisis and global recessions has been maintaining an average annual growth rate of about 6 percent and achieved most MDGs due to visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who integrated the three pillars of sustainable development in her pro-poor growth philosophy. The Minister was also a panellist at the Ministerial Roundtable which discussed the recently launched Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015. Later, the Minister held a bilateral meeting with the Executive Secretary of ESCAP where he sought ESCAPs technical cooperation on a number of issues including the Trans-Asian Highway and Cross-Border Paperless Trade. The Executive Secretary assured him of continued support of ESCAP for enhancing the sub-continental transportation network.