Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for managing geo-political realities in South Asia through collaboration, and placed a four-point proposal to make the region connected, friendly, and competitive.
“In the past decades, we saw many lofty regional ideas, and initiatives. Some succeeded, others could not deliver," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the India Economic Summit organized by the World Economic Forum at Hotel Taj Palace in New Delhi on Friday.
Among the four proposals placed by the prime minister, the first proposal was for securing peace, stability, and harmony for every individual across societies.
“We must move beyond the majority-minority mindset. Pluralism has been the strength of South Asia for centuries. So, we should be able to celebrate South Asia’s diversities in religion, ethnicity, and language. This is fundamental,” the premier said.
The second proposal was for ensuring equality, and not let inequality widen during times of faster growth.
“Wealth creation should be inclusive, and must trickle down to the bottom millions. Less developed communities or countries should not lag behind. We need to hold hands of ‘others’ through knowledge – experience – expertise,” she said.
The third proposal was for maintaining mutual trust, and respect between all communities, and countries.
“We need to get over misperceptions, and false apprehensions by maintaining good relations with all countries,” she added.
The fourth proposal was placed for managing geo-political realities through friendship, and collaboration.
“Let us appreciate, and balance regional political realities in the interest of our people. We cannot trade off long-term interests for short-term gains,” she said.
She called for resolving the Ganges river-water sharing with India by delimited maritime boundary with India, and Myanmar while mentioning Bangladesh’s success in contributing to international peace, and security by implementing its policy of “Friendship to all, Malice to none.”
Bangladesh is purchasing power from India through inter-country grid connections.
“Our private sectors compete with each other on a transparent and fair basis, such collaborative culture is essential across our politics, economy, and society,” she added.
Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Heng Swee Keat, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India Shailendra Singh, Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospital Enterprise Shobana Karmineni, and Chairwoman of Booking.com Gillian Tans were panelists at the event, moderated by WEF President Borge Brende.
Describing poverty as the common enemy in this region, she said: “We, all the countries in the region should work together to fight the menace. We’ve the ability to do it, and we’ll definitely do it.”
Over the Rohingya issue, Sheikh Hasina said the displaced Rohingyas have emerged as a problem for Bangladesh.
She highlighted her government initiatives to ensure basic needs of the people following the footsteps of Bangabandhu, as he liberated the country to make people smile by freeing the country from poverty, and hunger.
The Singaporean deputy prime minister appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s idea of working together to make the region stronger in terms of reducing poverty, and exchanging cooperation.