Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina drew ecstatic applauses from the participants of the two-day Global Gateway Forum 2023 in Brussels when she passionately spoke at the opening session highlighting her tireless efforts in achieving landmark economic progress over the last 15 years.
Focusing the struggles within the country during the earlier years of independence, the Bangladesh Prime Minister urged the world leaders to work for peace, according to an article run by a London based online platform.
She said Bangladesh currently has one of the highest GDP growth rates in the world, outstripping the EU, the UK, and the United States, an incredible achievement by any standards.
"Bangladesh is now the world's 35th largest economy," she said.
"Our 70-billion-dollar economy has grown into 465 billion in less than 15 years," she added.
"We have lifted millions of our people out of poverty. Extreme poverty has come down to 5.6% from 25.1% in 2006. Bangladesh is set to graduate from UN LDC status in 2026," said Sheikh Hasina.
Her own father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the first President of Bangladesh, and revered as the Father of the Nation, along with 18 other members of Sheikh Hasina's family, was assassinated by renegade army officers in August 1975. Only Sheikh Hasina and her sister, who were in Europe at the time, survived.
Sheikh Hasina herself has since survived numerous attempts on her life.
Her emotional words ended with a heartfelt plea to world leaders for peace, earning her rapturous applause from the delegates.
The two-day Global Gateway Forum 2023 brought together the most senior representatives of governments from the European Union and from around the world, along with the private sector, civil society, leading thinkers, financing institutions, and international organisations in Brussels.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen opened the two day event (October 25-26) who outlined the aims and objectives of the Global Gateway Initiative, and touched upon the methodology of achieving both.
Besides, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, President of Senegal Macky Sall and Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama, among others, spoke on the occasion.
The opening session of the forum closed with a message of goodwill from Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
President of Senegal Macky Sall spoke about his country's ambitions for closer relations with the EU, highlighting the economic benefits to all parties of new transport infrastructure.
The 3523 kilometre Beira-Lobito Trans-African Corridor, for example, also known as Trans-African Highway 9, will bring benefits to no less than six African states.
President Sall also touched on health needs, and in particular how Africa can produce much needed medicines locally. He is due to discuss the matter during the forum with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation.
Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama spoke about his country's future accession to the EU.
Finally, in a pre-recorded video, Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan and current Chair of the Group of Seven (G7) gave a message of support to the forum.