Dhaka, London for increasing trade for mutual benefit

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  • UK remains committed to keeping int’l spotlight on Rohingya crisis

Bangladesh and the United Kingdom (UK) have agreed that trade is an important tool in tackling poverty, and that increasing bilateral trade could bring significant benefits to both countries.

Both sides affirmed their strong commitment to the implementation of the agenda for sustainable development including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dhaka, London for increasing trade for mutual benefit.

The issues were discussed at the second Strategic Dialogue held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on Thursday, said the Foreign Ministry here on Friday.

The dialogue involved a fruitful exchange of views on political and bilateral issues, economic and development cooperation, security and defence cooperation, and exchanges on current global issues, including the Rohingya crisis.

The UK commended Bangladesh for hosting over one million forcibly displaced Burmese nationals.

Bangladesh welcomed the UK assurance that it remains committed to keeping the international spotlight on the Rohingya crisis, and to supporting Bangladesh in its humanitarian response and the voluntary, safe, and dignified return of the Rohingya to Myanmar.

Permanent Under-Secretary of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sir Simon McDonald, and his Bangladesh counterpart Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque led their respective sides in the meeting.

Both sides underscored the importance of an exchange of visits and interactions at the highest political level, including the visit of the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to Bangladesh in February 2018.

Both sides briefed on their countries political developments domestically and internationally.

The UK restated its commitment to maintain a high quality service for Bangladeshi nationals at the visa application centres in Dhaka and Sylhet.

The UK looked forward to early implementation of the Cross-Border Higher Education Rules which will allow UK universities to operate in Bangladesh.

Both countries agreed on the importance of education for women and girls.

The UK and Bangladesh reiterated the importance of coordinated global action on climate change and reaffirmed their strong support for early and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement of 2015.

Both sides agreed to work closely in support of Prime Minister May’s goal to cultivate a new, global and co-ordinated approach to eliminate forced, labour, modern forms of slavery and human trafficking.

Dhaka, London for increasing trade for mutual benefit.

The UK and Bangladesh reaffirmed their support for the Commonwealth and looked forward to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in London in April 2018.

Both sides agreed to arrange appropriate celebrations in London and Dhaka in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UK and Bangladesh.

Commenting on the Strategic Dialogue, Sir Simon McDonald said he repeated the UK’s commitment to continue tariff-free market access for Bangladeshi goods entering the UK market after the UK leaves the European Union.

“The UK looks forward to welcoming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit which takes place in London next month,” he said.

Shahidul Haque said the second Strategic Dialogue provided us an important opportunity to discuss how both sides can encourage transition to a broader relationship between the UK and Bangladesh in the post-Brexit and post-LDC context.

“We highlighted the valuable contribution that the British-Bangladeshi community continues to contribute to British society and prosperity,” he said.

Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque held a joint meeting with Mark Field MP, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific and Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations.

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