Bangladesh, Brunei highlight importance of air, shipping connectivity to boost ties


Bangladesh and Brunei have stressed the importance of facilitating air and shipping connectivity for giving the bilateral trade, investment and people-to-people contact a boost.

The two countries agreed to facilitate a greater collaboration and synergy between the private sectors and entrepreneurs of the two countries to fully harness the untapped potentials.

The issues were discussed at the second Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between Bangladesh and Brunei Darussalam held in Bandar Seri Begawan on Wednesday.

The consultations were co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Permanent Secretary of Brunei Darussalam Pengiran Norhashimah binti Pengiran Mohd Hassan. Bangladesh High Commissioner Nahida Rahman was present.

The issue of energy cooperation prominently featured in the bilateral discussions in context of the severe supply chain disruptions owing to the volatility and uncertainties caused by the pandemic and conflicts in different parts of the world, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two sides acknowledged the valuable contribution made by Bangladeshi migrant workers to both the countries.

Read: Bangladesh, Brunei 2nd FOC Wednesday

Expressing optimism for signing the proposed MoU on recruitment of Bangladeshi human resources in Brunei at the earliest, Foreign Secretary Masud underscored the need for a safe, orderly and regular migration.

Flagging the high demographic dividend Bangladesh is currently enjoying, he offered to send more Bangladeshi workers to Brunei for mutual benefit of the two countries.

The Brunei side expressed their keenness for recruiting more Bangladeshi workers in their upcoming mega projects.

During the FOC, the whole spectrum of Bangladesh-Brunei bilateral relations came under discussion including cooperation in areas of migration, trade and commerce, investment, agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and livestock, health, connectivity, defence, energy, education, culture, youth and sports, etc.

Both the sides expressed satisfaction at the existing level of bilateral engagements and reiterated their commitment for continued efforts to further expand the bilateral cooperation for mutual benefit in the days ahead.

Applauding the fruitful and substantial talks, both the sides also agreed on continuing the regular institutional engagement mechanisms to keep up the momentum in bilateral relations.

While sharing Bangladesh’s preparedness for LDC graduation, Foreign Secretary Masud highlighted the tremendous socio-economic development in Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Foreign Secretary requested for continued international support, including from Brunei, for sustaining the development trajectory of Bangladesh in the post-graduation period.

The Permanent Secretary of Brunei highly praised the socio-economic development of Bangladesh and congratulated Bangladesh for successfully qualifying for graduation from an LDC to a developing nation.

Both sides agreed to further explore the potentials for cooperation in the areas of food processing, ICT, ship building, tourism, infrastructure development, pharmaceuticals and jute products etc. Bangladesh sought Bruneian support for developing and promoting the Halal trade sector of Bangladesh.

As the Foreign Secretary highlighted the Rohingya crisis and sought a more proactive Bruneian support for an early repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to their motherland, the Brunei side assured of all possible cooperation in this regard.

Brunei also assured of their support in favor of Bangladesh’s candidacy for ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partnership.

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