UK is committed to maintaining Bangladesh’s DFQF access after Brexit, says UK envoy
British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson has emphasized on more “unified approach” in the UN Security Council, saying it is really urgent to work together globally to find a solution to the Rohingya crisis.
He was speaking at a DCAB Talk organized by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) auditorium in Dhaka on Monday, reports UNB.
He said the news headlines that he saw over the last couple of days regarding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s just-concluded China visit are “very encouraging”.
During the visit, Bangladesh, and China agreed on finding a speedy solution to the Rohingya crisis, noting that it cannot be kept unresolved.
While talking to diplomatic correspondents at DCAB Talk, the British envoy said, when there are a million of displaced people, they are potentially vulnerable to radicalization.
He highlighted three things that needs to be considered necessary for beginning repatriation in a safe, voluntary, and dignified manner, including implementation of the Kofi Annan report on Rakhine.
“Actually, that plan is a very good one, and implementation of that plan will be a very good basis to address the underlying issues facing the Rohingya people,” he said.
The high commissioner said the Rohingya people will get back confidence if their citizenship rights are granted.
The envoy said they have been pushing in the UNSC on the accountability fronts to look into crimes committed against Rohingyas.
“It is very important that those allegations are properly investigated,” he said emphasizing holding people accountable for their crimes.
Recognizing significant economic relations between the two countries, he said the UK is committed to maintaining Bangladesh’s duty-free, and quota-free market access once the UK leaves the European Union (EU).
He said the UK-Bangladesh bilateral trade in 2018 was £3.6 billion, with Bangladesh exporting £3 billion of goods and services to the UK, and the UK exporting £627 million of goods and services to Bangladesh.
“The UK is the third largest export market for Bangladesh,” he said, adding that the UK is Bangladesh’s second largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
In 2018, the UK’s net FDI into Bangladesh was $373 million.
High Commissioner Dickson said, the UK Export Finance current credit limit of £750 million for Bangladesh market shows the UK’s commitment to support potential business opportunities in Bangladesh.
The UK is the 6th largest source of remittance for Bangladesh, with a value of $1.1 billion.
The British high commissioner said, as a long standing friend of Bangladesh, and its people, they deeply value the UK’s relationship with Bangladesh.
“I know you are looking forward to your 50th anniversary in two years’ time, and to celebrating your many achievements, from bringing over 50 million people out of extreme poverty since 1990, to increasing life expectancy, and reducing infant mortality, to boosting your economy to one of the fastest growing one in the world,” he said.
The British envoy said there are around 600,000 people of Bangladeshi origin in the UK.
He said the people of Bangladeshi origin play a huge role in the UK, including in business, civil society, and across the full spectrum of local, and central government.
“There are three British MPs of Bangladeshi origin, one member of the House of Lords, and over 100 councillors with Bangladeshi heritage across the UK,” he mentioned.