'We have to move forward with our economic activities, maintaining health rules. Hopefully, we will establish a hunger-, poverty-, illiteracy-free and secular Golden Bengal'
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has praised Bangladesh’s socioeconomic performance, as the country managed to register 5.24% GDP growth during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"When many developed and developing countries are struggling with negative growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our growth increased to 5.24%," she said.
The prime minister made the remarks in her pre-recorded speech on Armed Forces Day, aired on Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar on Saturday. Other private television channels and radio stations also broadcast her around 13-minute-long speech.
Sheikh Hasina also said the country's remittance inflow, agricultural production and exports have made a turnaround, as its foreign currency reserve exceeded $41 billion.
“We have to move forward with our economic activities, maintaining health rules. Hopefully, we will establish a hunger-, poverty-, illiteracy-free and secular Golden Bengal, as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," she said.
Bangladesh believes in peaceful coexistence with all its neighbours but is also ever ready to protect its sovereignty from an aggressive attack, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina added.
"Our foreign policy is driven by the Father of the Nation's key policy of 'friendship to all, malice to none.' Although Bangladesh believes in peaceful coexistence with all neighbouring countries, we are ever ready for and strongly committed to protecting the country's sovereignty from any aggressive attack," she said.
To protect the country's sovereignty, the government has formulated the Forces Goal 2030 based on Bangabandhu's Defence Policy 1974, Sheikh Hasina said.
"As part of the continuation of that process, the Armed Forces are being rebuilt organizationally, provided with advanced training and decorated with specialised militarily adornments," she said.
Sheikh Hasina also said the government has developed every section of the Armed Forces with modern weapons and equipment in the last decade.
"I would like to firmly say that the way the armed forces have been modernized during the tenure of our government has never happened in the past," she said.
The prime minister briefly described the various development programs for the Armed Forces.
She hoped that the members of the Armed Forces would be able to contribute more to the country's defence and nation-building activities, imbued with honesty, patriotism and professional skills.
The prime minister praised members of the Armed Forces for their devotion and sacrifice when discharging their duties in any crisis of the country, including the Covid-19 pandemic.
Several members of the Armed Forces have been infected and some have died while facing the Covid-19 pandemic, she said.
The prime minister also praised the Armed Forces for brightening the country's image abroad by discharging their duties skilfully and with sincerity on UN peacekeeping missions.