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Democracy should not be given "Hindu" , "Christian" or "Muslim" subtitle


BSS, Dhaka : Foreign Minister M. Morshed Khan on Tuesday called for not bracketing democracy with any country or under any subtitle.

“Nobody should describe democracy as Muslim, Hindu or Christian ones,” he said addressing as the chief guest at the inaugural session of a roundtable on “An Enabling Environment and Free Zones for Investment Promotion and Export Competitiveness in Bangladesh,” at BRAC center in Dhaka.

With Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Uddin Siddiqui in the Chair, the session was also addressed by British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Anwar Chowdhury, Ambassador of Japan Matsushiro Horiguchi, representative of World Bank, Washington Syed Akhtar Mahmud and General Manager of SEDF Anil Sinha.

The roundtable was organized jointly by Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) and Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) in cooperation with Bangladesh government, International Finance Company (IFC), Department for International Development (DFID), World Bank (WB), Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and European Commission (EC).

Morshed Khan, detailing the country’s struggle for independence and struggle against hunger and poverty, said Bangladesh has a lot of achievements in various sectors during the last 34 years since its independence in 1971.

He stressed the need for a long-term vision for rapid economic growth for at least next 20 years.Detailing the private sector development since independence, he said the country’s private sector business and enterprises were almost destroyed in 1972 as the then government nationalized all major industries and business concerns.

“The inheriting entrepreneurship of the country’s private sector people gave a firm base making the country’s overall economy stronger,” he said citing his experience as one of the private sector businessman.

The foreign minister stressed the need for smooth reform of regulatory intervention in trade and investment in the country. He, however, said the government should not uphold any particular business sector by destroying another.“The government has responsibilities to ensure survival for all not to a particular group or sector, it will ensure existence of the country as well as the country’s business,” he added. In this regard he said the government wants smooth growth of the country’s readymade garment (RMG) sector as well as textile sector.

Organisers said, the two-day roundtable was planned as the first major event between the government and the donors to prepare a new private sector development project aiming at improving the investment and business environment in the post multi-fibre agreement (MFA) era.

It has also objectives to share basic principle, best practices and experience, especially from Asia in improving the business environment through regulatory reform at national level and upgrading industrial and free zone strategy at national and local level.

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