Expert Speak Energy News Monitor
Published on Nov 11, 2019
Welcome Address by President ORF, Samir Saran at the Dhaka Global Dialogue

Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Honourable Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. AK Abdul Momen, MP;

Honourable State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Md. Shahriar Alam, MP;

Honourable Director General, of the Bangladesh Institute of Strategic Studies, Major General A.K.M. Abdur Rahman;

Her Excellency the High Commissioner of India Riva Ganguly Das;

Eminent ministers and parliamentarians present in the room;

Distinguished dignitaries, speakers, delegates and friends,

On behalf of the organizing team and my co-chairs Nahim Razzaq, Member of Parliament, and Tanoubi Ngangom, of the Observer Research Foundation, it is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the inaugural edition of the Dhaka Global Dialogue. This is hosted jointly by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies and the Observer Research Foundation.

We are thrilled to welcome delegates and speakers from over 45 countries representing a fourth of the United Nations. Your presence here shows which way the sand is flowing in the global power-glass and indeed the importance of regions where solutions for the future may be discovered.

We are also enthused to have with us the youth of Bangladesh, the brains and the leaders of tomorrow here and abroad. Let me at this time also welcome all those who are joining us online. We look forward to engaging with this digital community in Bangladesh and beyond.

It is no coincidence that we are convening a dialogue on such scale and of such global importance here in Dhaka.

Through its truly remarkable achievements in economic growth and social development, Bangladesh has emerged as a miracle country in the region and is now poised to share its valuable experience with others across the globe.

The credit for this goes to the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina whose political vision, progressive policies and single-minded devotion to the wellbeing of her people have laid a strong foundation for Bangladesh’s prosperity and security, and indeed its leadership in the coming years.

Madam Prime Minister, this conference is inspired by your enlightened leadership. It is a tribute to the vision of the founding father of this nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The ambitious Vision 2041 announced by your government reflects both aspiration and determination of a rising economy. Before the Asian Century reaches its halfway mark, Bangladesh would have achieved its development goals. This is no mean feat.

Home to the youngest and exceptionally dynamic demography in the world, Bangladesh will become an incubator of technological, financial and social solutions that will improve the quality of lives, combat climate change, create sustainable livelihoods, and ensure the achievement of SDGs for itself and its region.

While the world grapples with the uncertainties and challenges of the fourth industrial revolution, geostrategic realignments and vagaries of climate change, Bangladesh’s progress will be a key contributor to the creation of a new framework for growth and development – both in the Indo-Pacific and the world beyond.

The Dhaka Global Dialogue seeks to play a complementary role in forging these new possibilities in and around the Indo-Pacific with this city increasingly becoming an influential centre for production of new knowledge.

We hope that the multiple conversations we witness here in this amphitheatre of ideas, will help script and shape a design that allows us all to break through the gridlock of today. Our conversations will specifically aim to address the local, regional and international policy posers that will implicate us all in the days ahead.

We have curated 45 diverse interactions over the course of the next three days structured in different formats that allow for rich debates and conversations. These will revolve around five pillars, namely:

1) Discovering contemporary political and institutional arrangements that promote growth, stability and security;

2) Investing in Human Capital to harness the full potential of our young populations in the digital age;

3) Building a sustainable blue economy that creates value for local communities and catalyses trade in a free and open Indo-Pacific;

4) Strengthening Women Leadership and Women led growth for more inclusive and equitable economies and societies; and,

5) Connecting countries and communities across the Indo-Pacific through soft and hard infrastructure and conducive policy regimes to unleash the value within the collective.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Asian Century, a century of, by and for us Asians and our engagement with the world. It is a century that will be shaped by stories of transformations in the east and will be lifted by our collective rise. We are gathered here together in this vibrant city to ideate, engage and ensure that we seize this opportunity. As organisers we want this to be an arena that fosters and incubates a new ecosystem of the future.

We at ORF would like to extend our special thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies, the governments of Britain, Australia and India, and each of our partners and sponsors for their unrelenting support for this endeavor.

I am confident the next three days will witness intense conversations that are insightful and will make a meaningful contribution to the purpose we have gathered here for.

Thank you for your warmth and hospitality.

The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.