DHAKA: The country experienced a number of achievements as well as developments in the year of 2018 although countrymen witnessed preparation for national election and tensed whether it will be held with participation of all parties and maximum voters.
Below are the highlights of developments:
Bangabandhu-1 satellite launched
Bangabandhu-I, the first communication satellite of Bangladesh, started its journey towards orbit slot from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, the USA at 2:14 am Bangladesh time.
SpaceX, on May 11, launched the high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh to a geostationary transfer orbit roughly 22,000 miles (35,000 kilometers) above Earth.
The launching of the satellite was hailed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a livestream video from Dhaka aired on SpaceX's launch webcast.
Bangladesh top gender equal country in S Asia
For the fourth time in a row, Bangladesh held the top position among South Asian countries in ensuring gender equality.
The country has slipped only one notch down to the 48th position among 149 countries worldwide, but is still ahead of all other countries in Asia except the Philippines, according to World Economic Forum's 'The Global Gender Gap Report 2018' published on December 20.
Economy marches towards record 7.65pc growth
The Bangladesh economy is charging towards record growth figure for the second consecutive year, driven by double-digit growth in manufacturing and construction sectors.
GDP growth in fiscal 2017-18 is likely to be 7.65 percent, up from 7.28 percent a year earlier, as per the estimate of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
This is the third consecutive year that the economic growth was above 7 percent after years of languishing in the neighbourhood of 6 percent.
Bangladesh goes up 28 notches
Bangladesh went up 28 notches in the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) index of the Basel Institute on Governance -- a development that will come as a pat on the back for the government.
The country came in at No. 82 out of 146 in the 2017 edition of the Basel AML Index, up from its previous spot of 54.
Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction starts
October 14, PM Sheikh Hasina opened Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project which will connect Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Narail and Jashore.
The first phase of the ‘Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project’ will establish rail link between Mawa and Bhanga via Janjira and Shibchar through the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.
Deal signed for Ctg elevated expressway
Max-Ranken Joint Venture on November 1 signed a contract with Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) to construct a four-lane elevated expressway from Lalkhan Bazar to Hazrat Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram.
The project, including a 16-kilometre flyover and a 12-kilometre ramp, is scheduled to be complete in four years with government finance.
Deal signed for Padma Bridge rail link
April 27, Bangladesh and China signed a $2.6 billion loan deal on the Padma Bridge rail link project.
Zahidul Haque, additional secretary of Economic Relations Division of the finance ministry, and Sun Ping, vice president of Exim Bank of China, inked the agreement on behalf of respective sides in Beijing.
Of the total project cost of $3.1 billion, Exim Bank will provide $2.6 billion while the rest would be given by Bangladesh Railway, he said. The loan carries a 2 percent interest rate.
PM wins awards
On April 27, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was conferred with Global Women's Leadership Award for her outstanding contribution to promote women rights and empowerment.
On September 29, the Prime Minister received two international awards -- the IPS International Achievement Award and the 2018 Special Distinction Award for Leadership -- for her humanitarian and responsible policy in hosting the Rohingyas and for her far-sighted leadership over the Rohingya issue.
Achievement in Cricket
1. Tigers Whitewashed West Indies, Zimbabwe
Bangladesh, on December 2, posted first-ever innings victory to whitewash West Indies at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.
Tigers whitewashed touring Caribbean 2-0 registering their first-ever innings victory beating the visitors by an innings and 184 runs in the 2nd and final Test that concluded before the tea break on the 3rd day.
Besides, Bangladesh defeated Zimbabwe by seven wickets in the third one-day international to complete a whitewash in the three-match series in Chittagong on October 27.
Imrul Kayes and Soumya Sarkar each scored a century as Bangladesh reached 288-3 in 42.1 overs at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
2. Series win against West Indies
Bangladesh take ODI series against West Indies in Basseterre which is tigers’ first series win outside Asia since 2009.
Tigers on July 18 secured a somewhat nervy 18-run win in the series-deciding ODI in Basseterre to seal a 2-1 win.
RCC, GCC, SCC, KCC elections
Elections in Rajshahi City Corporations (RCC) were held on Jul 302018 amid refusal of BNP-endorsed candidate to cast vote on allegation of rigging.
Awami League mayoral runner AHM Khairuzzaman Liton has won the Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) elections.
Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) elections were held on June 25.
Awami League nominated mayor candidate Md Jahangir Alam was declared elected in GCC elections, defeating his rival BNP contender Hasan Uddin Sarker by a big margin.
BNP candidate Ariful Haque Choudhury was declared winner in Sylhet city polls, held on August 11, defeating his nearest rival Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran of Awami League by 6,196 votes.
Awami League mayor candidate Talukder Abdul Khaleque has won Khulna City Corporation (KCC) elections, held on May 15, by 65,600 votes against his nearest rival BNP-backed candidate Nazrul Islam Monju.
Important personalities’ Visit to Dhaka
Jul 1, 2018, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who reached Cox’s Bazar on a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines at 8:45am, also said he heard “unimaginable accounts of killing and rape from Rohingya refugees who recently fled Myanmar”.
The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi visited Bangladesh to observe Rohingya communities and humanitarian workers in Cox's Bazar district to advocate for increased donor support
June 30, the President of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer and Dr Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA and UN Under-Secretary General.
On January 27, Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrived in Dhaka on a two-day official visit.
Widodo went to Cox's Bazar to witness the plight of Rohingya people who fled sectarian violence in Myanmar.
President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset arrives in Dhaka this noon on a four-day official visit to boost the 46-year-old ties between the two countries.
This is the first time a Swiss president visited here since March 13, 1972, the day when Switzerland recognised the independence of Bangladesh.
H. E. Mr. Tran Dai Quang, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and Madam Nguyen Thi Hien paid a State visit to the People's Republic of Bangladesh from 4 to 6 March 2018. The visit marks the 45th anniversary of Bangladesh-Viet Nam diplomatic relations.
BDST: 1727 HRS, DEC 29, 2018