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AH Mahmood Ali: Bangladesh can expect blue economy breakthrough

  • Published at 03:25 pm November 25th, 2018
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali speaks at a workshop on 'Blue Economy and EU Horizon 2020' at a hotel in Dhaka on Sunday, November 25, 2018 UNB

He stated this to reporters at Sonargaon Hotel following a seminar

According to Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Bangladesh can expect a breakthrough in the blue economy by developing its capacity in the field.

He made the statement to reporters at Sonargaon Hotel after the inaugural session of a seminar titled, “Blue Economy and EU Horizon 2020,” as chief guest, on Sunday.

“Though there are a vast amount of resources in the ocean, very few are being utilized due to a lack of capacity,” he said.

"Therefore, we need improvements in the fields of: science, technology, innovation, and the scientific community," minister Ali said—adding that the government needs to work together to achieve this.

In response to a question, he said the blue economy is something new, and it takes time to reap the benefits of any such new avenue. "We're marching ahead, so let us see. The private sector also needs to come forward."

Asked about foreign election observers, Mahmood Ali said they would be coming, and suggested reporters talk to officials at the Election Commission about it.

European Union Ambassador to Bangladesh Renjse Teerink also spoke at the inaugural session of the seminar, while Maritime Affairs Unit Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam presented about the topic.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever, with a fund of nearly €80 billion available over a period of seven years – 2014 to 2020 –in addition to the private investment that this money will attract.

This promises more breakthroughs, discoveries, and “world-firsts” by taking great ideas from the lab, and realizing them in the market.

The EU Ambassador emphasisedon the need for increased participation, and urged Bangladesh to take advantage of the fund by doing research on the blue economy.

She said the EU is ready to engage deeply with Bangladesh in this regard, as Horizon 2020 offers many opportunities. "There is a lot of opportunity for Bangladesh, that is why we are helping," she added.