PM’s WEF joining reflects BD’s strong position in world map

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Dhaka : Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Saturday said the forthcoming annual meeting of WEF will help Bangladesh encourage multinational companies and foreign investors to invest in the country.

“Considering everything, we hope our Prime Minister’s coming visit will be very fruitful,” he told a press conference at the Foreign Ministry.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her entourage leave here for Davos on Sunday night on a five-day official visit to Switzerland to attend the 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The four-day meeting will be held on January 17-20 in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland, under the theme ‘Responsive and Responsible Leadership’.

Minister Ali said the invitation extended to the Prime Minister reflects Bangladesh’s strong role in global issues and strong position in the world map as well.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and senior officials were present.

An Eitihad Airways flight carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage will leave Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 9:45pm on Sunday.

After a making a stopover at Abu Dhabi, the flight is scheduled to reach Zurich International Airport at 6:45am (local time) on Monday.

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

From the airport, Sheikh Hasina in a ceremonial motorcade will be escorted to Silvretta Parkhotel, where she will be staying during her visit to Switzerland.

On her way to Davos, Sheikh Hasina would make about one hour and 20 minutes of stopover at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the UAE.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told UNB that during her stay in Davos, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend a number of events of the World Economic Forum and hold talks with WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.

On January 17, the Prime Minister will attend the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum at the Congress Centre in Davos. Before the opening of the plenary, WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwann will call on Sheikh Hasina.

Hasina will also join a workshop titled ‘Shaping a New Water Economy’ at the same venue on that day.

In the afternoon, she will attend an interactive session on ‘Harnessing Regional Cooperation in South Asia’ at the Congress Centre.

On January 18, the Prime Minister 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 Prime Minister 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 Dhaka at 2.35pm (local time) on January 20 and is expected to arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10:15 am (local time) on January 21 via Dubai.

The WEF is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva. Recognised by Swiss authorities as an international body, its mission is cited as ‘committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas’.

The forum is best known for its annual meeting at the end of January in Davos. It brings together some 3,000 top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals, and journalists for up to four days to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.

The 47th annual meeting of the WEF will focus on five critical leadership challenges in 2017: strengthening global collaboration, restoring a sense of shared identity, revitalising economic growth, reforming capitalism and preparing for the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

In addition to government delegations from over 70 countries, including all G20 nations, this year’s meeting will be attended by new UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The meeting will be opened by President Xi Jinping of China, who will be accompanied by the largest delegation of Chinese officials since the country first participated in an annual meeting in 1979.

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