Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has directed Bangladeshi envoys to work for expanding export to import-dependent Middle East countries alongside attracting investment to Bangladesh.
‘In the case of investment and export, you’ll have to assess which country has what kind of demand. You’ll have to decide and proceed accordingly,’ she said pointing at the envoys deployed in nine Middle East countries.
The prime minister was speaking at the Envoys’ Conference at Shangri-la Hotel in Abu Dhab, UAE on Monday.
The envoys are — Golam Moshi of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Imran of United Arab Emirates, Major General (retd) KM Mominur Rahman of Bahrain, AFM Gousal Azam Sarker of Iran, AMM Forhad of Iraq, SM Abul Kalam of Kuwait, Abdul Motaleb Sarker of Lebanon, Md Golam Sarwar of Oman and Ashud Ahmed of Qatar.
PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the conference.
Noting that Bangladesh received the largest share of remittance from the Middle East countries, the prime minister asked the diplomats to work in a way so that Bangladeshi workers do not fall in trouble in foreign lands.
She emphasised carrying out campaign in villages so that overseas jobseekers do not fall victims to deception of middlemen and no one has to give additional money for going abroad. ‘We all will have to work for that,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina asked the envoys to strengthen the relations of Bangladesh with the Muslim countries.
‘Once Bangladesh had to take loans from donors, but the country has come out from that situation now. So, the donors are now our development partners,’ she said.
Mentioning that the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman adopted the foreign policy that friendship to all, malice to none, she said that it created misunderstanding between friendly countries in some cases, but it would have to be settled through discussions.
About the ongoing drive against terrorism and extremism, the PM said Bangladesh curbed the menace with its own mechanism. ‘The drive will continue,’ she added.
Hasina said, ‘Bangladesh has added new aircraft to the fleet of Biman Bangladesh Airlines as the country’s economy has become stronger. Thanks to the contribution made by the expatriates, particularly those staying in the Middle East.
Talking about poverty, she said her government brought down the poverty rate to 20 per cent and wanted to reduce it by three per cent further.
Turning to the celebrations of Mujib Borsho (from March 17, 2020 to March 26, 2021), Hasina said many programmes had been chalked out to celebrate it in the country.
She asked the envoys to take programmes to observe the Mujib Borsho in foreign lands and contact the foreign governments to this end.
The prime minister also focused on different issues, including women empowerment and blue economy.
Hasina said that another book authored by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was going to be published with title Amar Dekha Naya Chin.
Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen, expatriates’ welfare and overseas Minister Imran Ahmad, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid, state minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam and foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen were present at the conference, among others.
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