Bangladesh has long had strong ties with ASEAN nations such as Malaysia and Thailand.
But, now, we have an opportunity to expand.
The PM’s visit to Cambodia highlights two things: How far Bangladesh has come as a nation and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s far-sighted leadership skills.
While we make economic and social progress, burgeoning as a population that is truly making a stand on the global field, while simultaneously dealing with the Rohingya crisis, we have had to deal with the likes of China and India at various levels.
But we must not forget that the world is bigger than just a few major players.
Cambodia is the perfect example. With similarly expanding economies and histories, such as that of genocide and struggle, the Cambodian nation can be a good friend and ally to the Bangladeshi people.
It is also crucial that, as we continue to expand our reach as a nation, we pay close attention to the other ASEAN countries, and foster long-lasting relationships with them.
Bangladesh and Cambodia have signed 10 instruments, including nine MoUs, seeking to bolster trade and investment, in fields as diverse as tourism, agriculture, and ICT.
This relationship has great potential for us. By fomenting such synergy between the two nations, Bangladesh can expand its influence and create more and better opportunities for its people.
And this could very well be a crucial first step. Bangladesh needs closer ties with the rest of the ASEAN countries, and we hope that the PM’s visit to Phnom Penh is the first among many more to come.