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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh: Qatar Emir’s visit generates tremendous understanding

  • Both sides appreciate the longstanding bilateral cooperation
  • Discuss means to enhance ties through increased interaction
  • A total of ten agreements and  MoUs signed 
Update : 23 Apr 2024, 09:35 PM

Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani left Dhaka on Tuesday after a 24-hour visit, which generated tremendous goodwill and understanding between the two countries, according to the Foreign Ministry.

"The highest-level visit is likely to significantly contribute to the further consolidation of ties and the elevation of bilateral relations to the next level," the ministry said following his departure.

The Emir arrived on Monday. He was accorded state honours, with President Mohammed Shahabuddin receiving him at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

This is the first state-level incoming visit since the new government came to power in January of this year; it also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Qatar.

During the visit, a Bangladesh delegation led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and a Qatari delegation led by the Emir held "productive" bilateral talks at the Prime Minister's Office.

During the talks, both sides appreciated the longstanding bilateral cooperation and discussed means to enhance ties through increased interaction, people-to-people contact, and exchanges at all levels, including official, business, and political.

The issues discussed included expediting collaboration on trade and investment, energy and power, manpower, defence, education, agriculture, and food security.

Both sides also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, including the war in Gaza and the repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

Both leaders expressed deep concerns over the escalation of tension and violence in the Middle East and called on global leaders to take effective measures for a durable solution to the question of Palestine.

The prime minister expressed her gratitude to Qatar for being one of the few Gulf countries to recognize Bangladesh during the lifetime of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The Emir appreciated Bangladesh's remarkable economic development under the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister. He commended Bangladesh as an emerging investment destination and thanked both sides for signing the agreement on investment promotion and protection between Qatar and Bangladesh. He expressed keen interest in exploring business potentials in Bangladesh.

The Emir also recognized the role of the Bangladeshi expatriate community in Qatar's development and expressed Qatar’s willingness to recruit more workers, professionals, nurses, technicians, caregivers, etc., from Bangladesh.

In this context, the prime minister requested the Qatari Emir to consider recruiting more workers from Bangladesh, to which the Emir responded positively.

The prime minister welcomed the formation of a Joint Business Council (JBC) between the chamber bodies of the two countries and urged the Qatari side to ease visa procedures for business circles to facilitate interaction and engagement between the business communities of the two countries.

She offered Qatari investors and businessmen opportunities to develop the tourism sector in Cox's Bazar and explore investment opportunities in an Exclusive Economic Zone dedicated to them.

The Emir welcomed proposals for investment in the Exclusive Economic Zone and Cox's Bazar tourist spots, stating that he would ask representatives from the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Qatari business delegations to visit Bangladesh and explore investment prospects in the proposed sectors.

He also briefed the meeting about the Free Economic Zone in Qatar and requested the Prime Minister to send business delegations to Qatar to explore possible investment opportunities.

Both leaders expressed satisfaction with the existing bilateral cooperation in the energy sector and stated that both sides were working together to further advance engagement to a partnership level in the near future.

Before the bilateral talks, both leaders held an exclusive tête-à-tête where they exchanged views on matters of mutual interest and priorities.

After the bilateral talks, the delegation leaders witnessed the signing of a total of ten Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between Bangladesh and the State of Qatar.

The five agreements signed are as follows: an agreement for cooperation in the legal field between Bangladesh and the State of Qatar, an agreement on the promotion and protection of mutual investments, an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income between Qatar and Bangladesh, an agreement on maritime transport, and an agreement on the establishment of a Joint Business Council (JBC) between FBCCI & QCCI.

The five MoUs are as follows: an MoU on cooperation in the fields of sports and youth between Bangladesh and Qatar, an MoU on cooperation in the field of manpower employment (Labour) between the Ministry of Labour, State of Qatar, and Bangladesh, an MoU on cooperation in diplomatic training between Bangladesh and Qatar, an MoU for cooperation in the field of education, higher education, and scientific research between Bangladesh and Qatar, and an MoU between Qatar Ports Management Company "MAWANI QATAR" and Chittagong Ports Authority.

Both leaders also witnessed the opening and naming of a prominent avenue from ECB circle to Kalshi point and a park in Mirpur in Dhaka city after His Highness, the Emir of the State of Qatar.

The Emir and his delegation members also called on the President at Bangabhaban at noon, where they exchanged views on various bilateral issues.The Qatari Emir attended an official luncheon followed by a cultural program at Bangabhaban in his honour hosted by the president.

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