USAID Mission Director Reed Aeschliman on Thursday said they are committed to standing with their Bangladeshi partners and working together for a "more resilient and prosperous" future regardless of what challenges they face.
"We are lucky to have great partners in Bangladesh," he said, adding that empowering people enables them to reach their ultimate objective to help Bangladeshis build a more resilient, democratic and prosperous society in which all citizens have an opportunity to thrive.
Reed Aeschliman, who has immense knowledge of the South Asia region, said strengthening democratic principles is a critical cornerstone in maximising economic growth in any country.
"Economic studies show that when it comes to growth, democracy significantly increases development- especially in health and human capital," he said.
The USAID Mission Director said public sector and development partners alone cannot stimulate growth to the scale needed for Bangladesh to become an upper-middle income country.
"This is why private sector engagement and leveraging public-private partnerships are more important than ever," said the US senior official.
He said they continue to face evolving challenges like climate change. "We also need to be inclusive of key segments of Bangladesh’s population- including youth, women and marginalized communities so they can contribute to Bangladesh's economic growth more fully."
Responding to a question, Aeschliman said they want to support the development trajectory of Bangladesh as a good partner. "Sky is the limit."
Asked about election issue, he said they want to see a "free, fair and peaceful" elections in Bangladesh conducted in accordance with the international standard that allow people of Bangladesh to choose their leaders.
"We are focused on the process, not the results," he said, adding that he is committed to strengthening relations with Bangladesh as key strategic partner in major development initiatives including food security, economic growth, climate change, health, democracy, human rights, and governance.
There are three principles that the US instills across all of USAID activities. "The first principle is: be a good partner."
"I’m looking forward to getting to know you all more closely – whether it is at one of our
many events in Dhaka, or going out to see some of our projects together," Aeschliman said.
He is looking forward to exploring as many places in Bangladesh as possible.
"In fact, I will be making my first trip to Cox’s Bazar very soon to see USAID’s work and investments in the Southeast of the country," said the USAID Mission Director.
"I’ll have a chance to see the incredible results from our partnership
with the host communities in Cox’s Bazar as well as our Rohingya response. I’m also excited to see the world’s longest sea beach and try some of the delicious seafood that Cox’s is well known for," he said.
Aeschliman said he looks forward to continuing their work together between USAID and the American people, and the people of Bangladesh to build a brighter and more prosperous future.