Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her confidence that the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and France would evolve into a strategic partnership, fostering shared prosperity within the Indo-Pacific and beyond. She made this announcement during a banquet held in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron at the Hotel InterContinental in Dhaka. Prime Minister Hasina welcomed President Macron with a bouquet of flowers and was joined by her younger sister, Sheikh Rehana, at the event.
The Prime Minister highlighted the expansion of cooperation in strategic assets and advanced technologies as a significant development in their partnership. She emphasized the potential for their collaboration to address global challenges, including conflicts, climate change, and rising living costs.
Prime Minister Hasina noted that France had been a trusted development partner of Bangladesh since its independence, fostering a robust trade partnership with a focus on responsible business conduct. President Macron’s visit to Dhaka followed his participation in the G-20 Summit in New Delhi, India.
Sheikh Hasina expressed her pleasure and honor in hosting President Macron, recalling his warm hospitality during her visit to the Elysee Palace in November 2021. She extended a warm welcome on behalf of the people of Bangladesh, emphasizing the special place France holds in their hearts and imagination.
In a lighter moment, Prime Minister Hasina mentioned that they had arranged for President Macron to experience Bangladesh’s unique kacchi biriyani, celebrating the rich culinary, cultural, and linguistic heritage shared by both nations. She proposed a toast to his health with a local fruit juice made from Amra.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Hasina reflected on her father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s admiration for the French Revolution’s ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. She noted how these values were echoed in Bangabandhu’s historic speech of March 7, 1971, in which he called for independence and self-determination. She praised President Macron for his bold reforms in France and his pursuit of strategic autonomy, which aligns with Bangladesh’s foreign policy principle of “Friendship to all, malice towards none.”
The banquet featured a delightful menu, including smoked Hilsha with piazo, somosa, mulligatawny soup with artisanal bread and butter, mutton kacchi biryani, beef seekh kebab, chicken korma, sour aubergine, traditional luchi bread, and roasted lobster. Desserts included pathishapta pitha, sweet yogurt, rosogolla, and fresh fruit cuts, accompanied by a variety of beverages.
Bangladesh Aims to Enhance Bilateral Ties with South Korea in Trade and Investment
Bangladesh is eager to strengthen its bilateral relations with South Korea, particularly in the realms of trade and investment, in pursuit of realizing the dream of achieving a ‘Golden Bengal,’ as envisioned by the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Md Shahriar Alam, expressed this commitment as the chief guest at a reception commemorating South Korea’s National Foundation Day. The reception, hosted by South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Park Young-Sik, took place at a city hotel on Sunday evening.
During his speech, Minister Alam conveyed Dhaka’s contentment with the consistent growth in bilateral trade and investment between Bangladesh and South Korea. He highlighted the 50-year history of robust bilateral relations and expressed optimism about elevating this friendship to a deeper and more comprehensive level of collaboration.
Furthermore, Minister Alam referenced the recent meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Yoon Suk Yeol on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit in India, underlining the significance of such high-level engagements.
He reiterated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision of establishing a knowledge and technology-based prosperous and intelligent Bangladesh by the year 2041.
Minister Alam also expressed gratitude for South Korea’s prompt recognition of Bangladesh as an independent state shortly after its independence on May 12, 1972.
Vietnam’s National Assembly President Attends Forum in Dhaka for Economic Collaboration with Bangladesh
Vuong Dinh Hue, the President of the Vietnam National Assembly, recently participated in an event held in Dhaka known as the ‘Forum on Policies and Laws to Foster Economic, Trade, and Investment Collaboration between Vietnam and Bangladesh.’ This significant gathering was jointly organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh, and in cooperation with key entities including the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Vietnamese Business Association in Bangladesh.
The forum drew the presence of a distinguished high-level delegation from the Vietnamese National Assembly, alongside prominent figures from the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), and a substantial representation from businesses on both sides. Additionally, various ministries from both Vietnam and Bangladesh were represented.
During the forum, three notable business-to-business Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were inked. These agreements included collaboration between BMH Vietnam Company and Doreen Group Bangladesh, focusing on investment cooperation, technology transfer, and the advancement of pre-engineered steel production. Another agreement was reached between Bangladesh Vietnam Development Assistance Company and the Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Association, with a specific focus on pharmaceutical exchange. Lastly, Huong Giang Aviation Services and the Bangladesh Tourism Association came together to establish a tourism alliance, marking a significant step in enhancing tourism ties between the two nations.
As part of his official three-day tour, Vuong Dinh Hue visited the state-of-the-art facilities of Beximco Pharma in Tongi, where he received an informative presentation and toured the manufacturing facility.
Bangladesh’s Commitment to SDGs Unshaken Despite Global Challenges, Says PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reaffirmed her government’s unwavering commitment to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), even in the face of challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine war, and the climate crisis. She made this declaration during a meeting with Helen Clark, Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), at the United Nations Headquarters.
As part of her commitment to healthcare services accessibility for all citizens, PM Sheikh Hasina mentioned the implementation of the National Health Sector Strategic Plan (2011-2030) and a 27% increase in healthcare sector allocations for the current fiscal year 2023-24.
Helen Clark commended Bangladesh’s exceptional progress in healthcare under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership, citing the nation’s remarkable achievements in reducing maternal and child mortality rates and ensuring universal healthcare services.
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