• Friday, Nov 22, 2019
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Looking east for new opportunities

  • Published at 12:08 am April 25th, 2019

The formation of the OIC economic forum is a laudable initiative that could aid Bangladesh

There is no doubt that as Bangladesh continues achieving one economic milestone after the other, it has to foster new relationships, build and strengthen ties with other regional powers and nations, and search for new opportunities to sustain its upward trajectory.

On that front, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s proposal on the formation of a regional economic forum, with five Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states of South and Southeast Asian region, is an encouraging sign of the government’s intent, and this pro-active approach to strengthening regional ties must be applauded.

The proposal, which was made when meeting the sultan of Brunei during the PM’s visit to the country, includes Bangladesh and Maldives from South Asia, along with Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia from Southeast Asia.

Indeed, with Bangladesh never truly benefiting from Saarc due to the ongoing tension and lack of trust and unity amidst its members, there is great need for fruitful economic cooperation with our neighbouring nations, and so the formation of the OIC economic forum is a laudable initiative that could aid Bangladesh’s goals.

There is tremendous untapped economic potential for Bangladesh looking east for cooperation -- for building bilateral relationships, encouraging more interaction with respective business communities, and ultimately leading to more investment into the country.

Therefore, there is hope that talks with Brunei are perhaps laying the foundation for Bangladesh to strengthen its ties with other Southeast Asian countries, and that the Bangladesh government will not rest on its laurels and continue to employ forward-looking initiatives so that we continue to go from  strength to strength as an economy.