Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called upon the member countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to put in all-out efforts to develop and promote the blue economy.
"IORA member countries should put in all-out efforts to develop the blue economy," she said.
Sheikh Hasina made the call when a delegation of 12 IORA member states held a meeting with her at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
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He said the delegation members also stressed the need for making collective efforts for the development of the blue economy.
Hasina put emphasis on strengthening relations among the IORA countries as there is ample scope of expanding bilateral trade and investment. “Despite having enormous potential, our intra-region investments are modest. There is ample scope for expanding trade and investment relations among the IORA member countries."
The Prime Minister welcomed the delegation to Bangladesh and said Bangladesh gives importance to bilateral relations with the IORA member states.
Hasina said the delegations are in Bangladesh at a time when the country is celebrating the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“Your presence has added a new dimension to the birth centenary celebrations,” she said.
The Prime Minister also described the various steps Bangladesh has taken in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic situation. “We’re also making efforts to produce coronavirus vaccines in Bangladesh,” she said.
Hasina mentioned that the pharmaceutical companies of Bangladesh are very efficient and producing quality medicines as the country is exporting pharmaceutical items to over 100 countries. “We’ve been working tirelessly to make Bangladesh a developed country by 2041,” she said.
The IORA delegation highly appreciated the Prime Minister's leadership for putting Bangladesh on the development trajectory.
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Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen conducted the meeting.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Comoros Dhoihir Dhoulkamal, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of South Africa Dr Pandor, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka Prof G.L Peiris, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries of Tanzania Mashimba Mashuri Ndaki, Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries of Tanzania, Abdullah Hussein Kombo, Minister of State for South Asia, United Nations and the Commonwealth of FCDO, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, Chief Administrative Secretary of Kenya, Ababu Namwamba, Permanent Secretary of Madagascar, Ratsimandau Tahirimiakadaza, State Minister of Foreigh Affairs and International Cooperation of Somalia, Belal Mohamed Cusman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of USA Ambassador Kelly Keiderling and Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, Rear Admiral (retd) Khurshed Alam, were present.
Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit of Foreign Ministry) Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam also attended the meeting.