Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday told the National Parliament that Bangladesh has the capability of manufacturing Covid vaccine and exporting those as well to other countries.
The Prime Minister made the remarks while participating in a discussion over a resolution brought in the House to thank UNESCO for introducing an award over creative economy on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
She said that during her recent tour to the United Kingdom and France she told the world leaders that Bangladesh wants to produce coronavirus vaccine and let the country do so.
“I told them to remove all barriers of producing coronavirus vaccine in Bangladesh, this is the right of the people of the whole world, this should be declared as the global public good,” she said. She mentioned that if Bangladesh gets the chance it would produce vaccine as it has that capability and the government has already allotted a land for the purpose.
“We can also supply vaccine to the world,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh got global recognition for its success in tackling Covid-19.
The Prime Minister also told the parliament that one day Bangladesh's organisation would definitely get the "UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize on Creative Economy".
"We want young people of Bangladesh to come up and work like Uganda's MoTIV Creations Limited. I believe one of the Bangladeshi organisations will get the prize one day," she added.
The parliament later unanimously adopted the motion by voice vote with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
Sheikh Hasina, also the Leader of the House, said Bangladeshi youths will come forward like Uganda's MoTIV Creations Limited which has got the maiden prize for their contribution to the creative economy and has been working to boost talent and creativity of their youths in generating employment.
"We have taken a startup programme mainly to create scope for the young generation of Bangladesh," she said.
The prime minister said her government has been creating the scope for the young people to flourish their talents and creativity.
Sheikh Hasina said the UNESCO wanted to give the “UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize on Creative Economy” at their (Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana) hands.
“Me and my younger sister Sheikh Rehana were present while I handed over the prize to Uganda’s MoTIV Creations Limited,” she said, adding that Sheikh Rehana welcomed the UNESCO director general with a flower bouquet on behalf of all the Bangladeshi people.
She added: “Naming the UNESCO prize after the Father of the Nation is very important for us and a great honour to Bangladeshi people.”
The Premier also said that she had got a scope to speak at the UNESCO general assembly at its headquarters in Paris.
She also expressed her gratitude to UNESCO for recognizing the 7th March Speech of Bangabandhu by including the speech in the Memory of the World Register as a documentary heritage on October 30, 2017 and recognized February 21 as the world mother language day.
The Prime Minister conveyed her heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the UNESCO personnel for their support in establishing the prize in the name of the Father of the Nation and permanent Bangladesh mission in Paris and its foreign ministry.
Sheikh Hasina, also President of the Awami League, told the parliament that her party has a research wing named Centre for Research and Information (CRI), was closed in 2001 during the so-called “Operation Clean Heart” conducted by the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.
“The CRI later resumed its operation. It has taken an initiative “Young Bangla” to generate employment for the youths through motivation and a startup programme,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said that the initiative is a brainchild of her son Sajeeb Wazed Joy and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana’s son Radwan Mujib Siddiq while some lawmakers of her party were also involved in the programmme.
“We have given special allocation for the startup programme. If our children want to take newer initiatives, we will help from the fund,” she continued.
The Prime Minister said that the rate of online selling and e-commerce which are part of the creative economy has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic in Bangladesh due to various timely and effective measures.
“Nothing is possible in a day. It will be done gradually,” she told the parliament.
Many destructive decisions have been taken in Bangladesh such as rejecting the chance of getting free submarine cable during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government, she said.
But, assuming power, the Awami League government has taken measures for development of each of the sectors so Bangladesh can cope with the international community, she said.
In this connection, she said, "We have got international recognition for successfully facing the coronavirus pandemic."
Highlighting various measures taken by Bangabandhu and her government for welfare of people and overall development of the country, the Prime Minister said that they are working to transform Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country free from poverty and hunger as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.