The Bangladesh-German Consultations 2020 in Dhaka on Monday emphasised the need to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and also to boost cooperation in a wide range of areas including energy and renewable energy.
The Economic Relations Division additional secretary and wing chief (Europe) Gauranga Chandra Mohanta led the Bangladesh side while head of South Asia division of the federal ministry for economic cooperation and development of Germany Ute Heinbuch led the German side during the day consultations at the NEC-2 Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
The consultations took place back to back with the visit of the German minister for economic cooperation and development Gerd Muller to Bangladesh on February 25-26 and were held in a cordial atmosphere upholding the friendship and mutual long-lasting relationship at the core, officials said.
During the meeting, they said, both the delegations discussed recent social and economic progress of Bangladesh and reviewed the outcome of cooperation between Bangladesh and Germany.
Both parties discussed various issues of mutual interest like renewable energy and energy efficiency, social and environmental standards in the textile sector, adaptation to climate change in urban areas, justice reforms and human rights, the Rohingya crisis in Cox’s Bazar district and the challenges for the host communities as well as biodiversity in a congenial and friendly atmosphere and expressed their commitment to further strengthen the existing bilateral relations.
Briefing reporters after the consultations, Gauranga said discussions were held in details during the consultations on a wide range of issues in various sessions between the German side and the representations from the concerned Ministries and Divisions of Bangladesh.
‘Following the discussions, we hope that projects will be undertaken in future and we’re hopeful of getting more loans and grants from Germany,’ he said adding that Germany has expressed their interest in vocational education in Bangladesh.
‘This is a very promising sector and development will be much more fruitful in the near future if concerted efforts could be given in the human resource development,’ he added.
Mentioning that Germany committed around 200 million euro last year to Bangladesh for implementing various projects, the ERD additional secretary said they are expecting commitment of more than 200 million euros this year from Germany. ‘I hope our relationship will be further cemented.’
Ute Heinbuch said they would continue the constructive and fruitful cooperation with Bangladesh in the coming days.
She said after these consultations, they are looking forward to the Bangladesh-German negotiations which will be held in the 2nd half of this year in Germany where opportunities would be created for making new commitments for the ongoing and new projects.
Asked about the Rohingya issue, she said that Rohingya is a highly sensitive political issue and they have already requested the Myanmar government to guarantee a safe repatriation of the Rohingyas to Myanmar and also to protect the Rohingyas who are still in Myanmar.
Ute also lauded the hospitality extended by Bangladesh to the Rohingyas saying this is a ‘tougher’ challenge for Bangladesh. ‘We really appreciate how well Bangladesh is doing,’
Germany has been providing financial and technical assistance for the development of Bangladesh since 1972, which amounts today to a total of over 3 billion euros. German-Bangladesh Development Cooperation has a long standing history in supporting various issues including infrastructure, health, poverty alleviation, good governance and human rights.
After the consultations, Gauranga and Ute signed the agreed minutes.
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