Dhaka, Apr 11 (UNB) - Bangladesh has expressed it interest to sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South American trade bloc MERCOSUR at an early date to tap the under-exploited South American market.
Bangladesh has already submitted “Letter of Intent” to that effect to secure greater access for Bangladeshi products to a huge market of 300 million consumers across Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam conveyed this interest when new non-resident Argentine Ambassador Daniel Chuburu (based in New Delhi) called on him on Thursday.
Argentine Ambassador, whose country is the current President of this trade bloc, promised full cooperation in this regard, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Argentine Ambassador emphasized the need to promote the overall bilateral trade between the two countries.
In this context, he proposed to hold a regional workshop/seminar on agriculture and agro-business in Dhaka sometime soon to promote better cooperation and share Argentine skills and expertise in agricultural sector.
Ambassador opined that such cooperation could go a long way in terms of ensuring food security.
State Minister Alam gratefully recalled Argentine Writer and Critic Victoria Ocampo’s commendable role in support of Bangladesh’s Historic War of Liberation that led and inspired the intelligentsia in Argentina and beyond to protest against the atrocities inflicted on Bangalees by Pakistan military and their local collaborators.
The Bangladesh State Minister also sought Argentina’s support for Bangladesh’s candidature for the post of Deputy Director General of IOM.
Argentine Ambassador promised to give its due consideration.
Among others, cooperation in culture and sports also figured in the discussion.
Bangladesh State Minister looked forward to receiving Argentine football team in Dhaka in 2021 to play a match marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Argentine Ambassador presented his credentials to the President at Bangabhaban on April 10.
Dhaka, Apr 11 (UNB) - The U.S. Embassy, including the Consular Section, will remain closed on Sunday (April 14), in celebration of the Bengali New Year, a Bangladeshi national holiday.
The American Center with the Archer K. Blood American Center Library and the Education USA Student Advising Centerwill also remain closed on the day.
However, emergency services for American citizens will be available, said a press release on Thursday.
Dhaka, Apr 11 (UNB) – Finland Ambassador to Bangladesh (non-resident) Nina Vaskunlahti on Thursday emphasised the need for continued global pressure on Myanmar for the quick repatriation of displaced Rohingyas.
"The world community will have to continue pressure on Myanmar government to take their citizens back from Bangladesh," she said.
The envoy made the remarks when she met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban .
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
Referring to the influx of over 10 lakh Rohingyas into Cox's Bazar, the Prime Minister said they have outnumbered the local people there.
The local people have accepted the sufferings caused by the presence of huge Rohingyas on humanitarian ground, she said.
The Finish envoy congratulated Sheikh Hasina on her party's landslide victory in the last general election and her assumption of office as the Prime Minister for the fourth time.
Vaskunlahti highly appreciated Bangladesh's tremendous development under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. "Bangladesh's economy is progressing fast under your dynamic leadership," he said.
The Finish envoy expressed her country's interest to invest in Bangladesh's textile and energy sectors. "We want to produce electricity in Bangladesh from wastes," she was quoted as saying.
Vaskunlahti also said Finland is keen to extend cooperation with Bangladesh in the fields of education and IT.
She mentioned that many Bangladeshi students are studying in Finland.
Expressing satisfaction over the existing bilateral relations, the Finish envoy said the foreign office consultation between the two countries will be held in May.
Pointing out that Bangladesh is producing high quality leather and leather goods, the Prime Minister said Finland can import those products from here.
Hasina said the main aim of her government is to develop the country further. "We're putting in our best efforts to fulfill the basic needs of people."
About Bangladesh's economic progress, Sheikh Hasina said her government expects 8:1 percent GDP growth in the current fiscal. “The purchasing capacity of people has increased to a great extent due to our strides."
The prime minister said the government has adopted Delta Plan-2100 with the cooperation of the Dutch government to build a beautiful abode for future generations.
PMO's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, PM’s Military Secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Zainul Abedin and Finland's Honorary Consul General Aziz Khan were present.
Earlier, visiting Indian Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban.
Referring to the implementation of the historic land boundary agreement (LBA) with India, the Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the Indian government and all political parties of India in this regard.
"All political parties of India lent their support to the LBA Bill unitedly in parliament," she said.
The Prime Minister also recalled India's unequivocal support to Bangladesh's liberation war.
The Indian Defence Secretary pointed out defence cooperation between the two countries.
PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division Lt Gen Md Mahfuzur Rahman, PM's Military Secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Zainul Abedin and Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Riva Das Ganguly were present.
Dhaka, Apr 10 (UNB) - Envoys of six different countries presented their credentials to President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday at Bangabhaban.
The envoys are-Gambian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Jainaba Jagne, non-resident ambassadors -Ariel Andrade Galindo of El Salvador, Fatoumata Balde of Guinea, Daniel Chuburu of Argentina, Julius Pranevicius of Lithuania and Muhamed Cengic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Principal Information Officer Mohammad Joynal Abedin briefed reporters after the ceremony.
Welcoming the envoys, Hamid said Bangladesh is interested to strengthen bi-lateral relationship alongside multi-lateral relationship, Mohammad Joynal Abedin quoted the President as saying.
He called upon the envoys to take effective measures to utilize the potential sectors of their respective countries for mutual benefit alongside strengthening the diplomatic relationship.
Mentioning Bangladesh as the potential country for tourism, the President said Bangladesh has the world’s largest sea beach in Cox's Bazar and the Sundarbans which is the part of World Heritage.
He also sought the cordial support from the envoys to uphold the tourism potentials of Bangladesh.
The envoys expressed hope that bilateral relations with Bangladesh will be strengthened in the days to come.
Praising the socio-economic development of Bangladesh, they sought the President’s cooperation in discharging their duties.
Secretaries concerned to the President and high officials of the Foreign Ministry were present.
Earlier, on their arrival at Bangabhaban, a smartly turned-out contingent of the horse-mounted President Guard Regiment (PGR) gave the envoys guards of honour as part of the ceremony.
Dhaka, Apr 10 (UNB) - British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field has said economic progress could be undermined in Bangladesh unless steps are taken to improve democratic governance and accountability.
He also laid emphasis on having an effective political opposition and a free press, according to a press release issued by the British High Commission here on Wednesday.
Field was the first UK Minister to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections in December last.
During his recent two-day visit, which included a roundtable with senior editors to discuss media freedom in Bangladesh, the Minister warmly praised Bangladesh on its continued economic growth, including its transition toward a middle-income country, with Britain playing a leading role in Bangladesh’s economic development as the second-largest foreign investor, and also supporting the country through the UK aid programme.
He thanked Prime Minister Hasina for her government’s efforts in dealing with the Rohingya crisis and discussed the potential options for dialogue with Myanmar that would allow the Rohingya to begin returning home.
Minister Field said Bangladesh has been making great strides and he was pleased to discuss with Prime Minister Hasina how the two countries can strengthen already deep links.
“As well as our enduring people-to-people links, we’re working together to combat human trafficking and through the Commonwealth on a variety of mutual issues from climate change to trade," he said.
“But as a true friend of Bangladesh, we stand ready to address issues around democratic governance and accountability, where we believe the government of Bangladesh must do more for its people to flourish and reach their full potential," Field was quoted as saying.
During the visit, the Minister also attended a British Council roundtable event and discussed how UK universities and local providers can increase the pace of co-operation to ensure UK degree programmes can be run in Bangladesh through branch campuses and provide greater choice to students in Bangladesh.