PM leaves for Davos to attend WEF

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DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left here tonight for Davos on a five-day official visit to Switzerland to join the 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Executive Chairman of the WEF Prof Klaus Schwab invited her to attend the Forum who would be the first elected Bangladeshi leader to attend the high profile annual global meeting that draws statesmen, top business leaders and the intelligentsia to discuss crucial global issues, foreign ministry sources said.

The four-day meeting will be held January 17-20 in Davos, a mountain resort at Graubnden in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland, under the theme “Responsive and Responsible Leadership”. An Eitihad Airways flight carrying the premier and her entourage members took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10:15 p.m.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhit, Commerce Minister Tofael Ahmed, Minister for Road and Bridges Obaidul Quader, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, PM’s Media Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Chief whip ASM Feroz, Chief’s of three services, cabinet secretary, principal secretary, and dean of diplomatic corps saw the prime minister off at the airport.

The flight is scheduled to reach Zurich International Airport at 6:45 a.m. (local time) on Monday.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Switzerland and Permanent Representative to the UN Offices Shameem Ahsan will receive the prime minister at the airport.

From the airport, the premier in a ceremonial motorcade would be taken to Silvretta Parkhotel where she will be staying during the visit.

On her way to Davos, Sheikh Hasina would make a stopover at Abu Dhabi International Airport for one hour and 20 minutes.

The foreign minister and state minister for ICT Junaid Ahmed Palok would be, among others, in the PM’s entourage.

The prime minister will attend the opening plenary of the WEF on January 17 and before the inauguration of the plenary, she will hold a meeting with WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwann.

During her stay in Davos, Sheikh Hasina will attend a number of events on the sidelines of the Forum. She will join a workshop titled “Shaping a New Water Economy” and an interactive session on “Harnessing Regional Cooperation in South Asia”.

The prime minister will also hold bilateral meetings with leaders of different countries.

On January 18, the premier will take part in an event titled “Worlds Underwater” as well as the plenary session on “Leading the Fight against Climate Change”.

On January 19, she will attend an interactive session titled “Informal Gathering of the World Economic Leaders: Responsive and Responsible Leadership in a Multipolar World”.

Besides, the premier will attend an event titled “Women Leaders Dinner: New Frontiers of Leadership” to be held at Schatzalp of Davos-Klosters in the evening the same day.

Concluding her five-day tour, the prime minister will leave Zurich International Airport for home at 2.35 p.m. on January 20 and is expected to arrive in Dhaka January 21 morning.

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