Bangladesh has requested Brunei to recruit more Bangladeshi professionals and skilled human resources, and extend job contract period to three years from two years now.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni made the request during a meeting with Minister for Home Affairs of Brunei Darussalam Pehin Badaruddin at the latter’s office in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday.
She also urged the Brunei authorities to consider further rationalising the security deposit paid against recruitment of Bangladeshi workers.
The Brunei Minister expressed interest in recruiting more doctors, teachers and other skilled and semi-skilled workers from Bangladesh. He also appreciated the hard work, good behaviour and law abiding nature of Bangladeshi workers employed in the oil-rich country.
Dipu Moni, who is currently visiting Brunei Darussalam to attend the 20th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Meeting, discussed the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), labour reforms, border killings and repatriation of Rohingyas during meetings with her counterparts from several nations, on the sidelines of the ongoing regional forum.
Dipu Moni met US Secretary of State John Kerry at a different session Tuesday. It was the first high-profile meeting between the two countries after GSP facility was suspended for Bangladesh on Thursday. She invited Kerry to Bangladesh and discussed the issue of GSP suspension by the US.
She also had a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird , who observed that Bangladeshi readymade garments workers should not be penalised due to any kind of trade restrictions.
Baird said: “Canada will work together with Bangladesh to improve compliance in the RMG sector, including through corporate social responsibility,” he told the Bangladesh foreign minister, according to a foreign ministry press release.
He offered to send experts to Bangladesh to help promote building and fire safety, and labour law compliance in the RMG sector.
Bangladeshi High Commissioner to Brunei Abdul Hai told the Dhaka Tribune on the phone: “They were in a very positive mood and Kerry told the foreign minister they would get back soon,”
During a meeting with Salman Khurshid, external affairs minister of India, he reaffirmed New Delhi would not take any unilateral decisions about the Himalayan component of common rivers that might affect Bangladesh adversely.
The Indian minister offered to share more comprehensive information with Bangladesh on the proposed hydro-electric projects in Meghalaya. In response, Dipu Moni suggested setting up joint mechanisms with experts from both countries to study the implications of the projects.
When the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Dipu Moni, he proposed to set up a joint taskforce with Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar to set up an “economic corridor.”
During a meeting with Myanmar’s foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin, Dipu Moni stressed the need to address the matter of citizenship of Muslim minorities from the Rakhine state. She urged Myanmar to resume voluntary repatriation of refugees from Bangladesh.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum is an official, formal and multilateral dialogue to foster consultation, build confidence and preventive diplomacy in the region.
The meeting at Brunei is being attended by all the ASEAN members.