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Dhaka prefers regional economical, development initiatives to political, social coalitions

  • Published at 08:26 pm November 13th, 2019
Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen  Dhaka Global Dialogue
Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen speaks at the concluding session of the three-day Dhaka Global Dialogue on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 PID

Addressing key concerns of weaker economies a must for any sustainable world, says foreign minister

Bangladesh is in favour of regional initiatives in respect of economic, social and development issues rather than political and strategic coalitions, foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Wednesday, placing emphasis on convergence of objectives and actions of the measures to make gains for all.

“Considering the background and the ambit of our discussion, I will better discuss the regional initiatives based on economic, social and development issues and would avoid the political and strategic coalitions,” he told the concluding session of the three-day Dhaka Global Dialogue, jointly organised by the government think-tank, the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), and Observer Research Foundation, an Indian think tank. The theme of this first ever such dialogue in Bangladesh was ‘Growth, development and Indo-Pacific’.

The foreign minister also said it is imperative to address the key concerns of the weaker economies to ensure a sustainable world. 

“I will reiterate a few things for the common peace and prosperity of our region. First is of course to create an environment of peace-harmony-stability of all countries and we have to focus on the entire menu of sustainable development,” he said.

Next, Dr Momen said, “We have to engage among ourselves based on mutual trust and mutual respect for mutual benefit. Then our wealth creation must be for all with fair distribution. Lastly, we need to have fair competition but not geo-strategic or political rivals.”

“We must guard against the tendency to look at this region in respect of trade or security issues only. We often look just in terms of the capacity of a few large economies or their needs. But, we must get the narrative right: addressing the key concerns of smaller communities or relatively weaker economies is a must in our collective journey, for any sustainable world,” he added.

 “Bangladesh approaches connectivity in a wider sense: to connect and create bridges for ideas, knowledge, innovation, culture, people, institutions, road-rail-air, technology, movement of goods–services–investment, energy and power. People and their regular movement are at the centre of all our endeavours of any form of connectivity,” he said. 

Although the Indo-Pacific region is the most vibrant and growing region in the world and is home to 65 per cent of the world’s population and generating 62 per cent of the global GDP it is expected that ‘Asian Century’ will actually design the next global century, he observed. 

However, he said that it is the same region which also has the highest number of poor people and is divided by race, colour, religion, level of development and geography. 

So, he added, “We need to innovatively use the current socio-economic landscape (as we cannot change it) and the resources of our region to achieve sustained economic growth and significant improvement in social conditions for bringing greater prosperity for our people.”