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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh wants to become Asean sectoral dialogue partner by next summit in October

  • FM requests members of Asean to support Bangladesh’s bid
  • Asean Dhaka Committee assures Bangladesh of its support
Update : 25 Feb 2024, 09:07 PM

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Sunday said Bangladesh’s becoming a sectoral dialogue partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will benefit both sides through extended trade and investment engagements, enhanced people-to-people contact, and the exchange of best practices. 

To that end, he requested that the members of Asean support Bangladesh’s bid to become a sectoral dialogue partner of Asean, preferably by the next Asean summit, to be held in Vientiane, Laos, in October. 

The members of the Asean Dhaka Committee (ADC) met Hasan Mahmud and congratulated him on taking office as foreign minister. 

They assured the foreign minister of favouring Bangladesh’s intent to become an Asean sectoral dialogue partner. 

The ADC is an informal platform formed by the heads of missions of eight Dhaka-based Asean resident missions, namely Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 

During the meeting, the foreign minister stressed that the Asean countries should harness long-standing historical, cultural and religious links with Bangladesh by forging mutually beneficial economic ties. 

While emphasizing Asean’s favourable trade gap with Bangladesh, he highlighted the need for enhanced roles from the private sector both at the bilateral and multilateral levels to reap the benefits of the immense trade and investment potential.

The minister also suggested the heads of missions encourage their companies to invest in Bangladesh’s economic zones in different sectors, such as pharmaceuticals and leather products. 

He sought support from the members of the ADC to address the issue of initiating the repatriation process for 1.2 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.

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