Bangladesh and Qatar deepen partnership

Bangladesh's Special Economic Zones, Bangladesh, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, Qatar

The President of Bangladesh, Mohammed Shahabuddin, recently met with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, at the Bangabhaban in Dhaka. The meeting aimed to strengthen bilateral ties and explore investment opportunities, especially in Bangladesh’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

President Mohammed Shahabuddin highlighted Bangladesh’s initiative to establish 100 SEZs, inviting Qatari investors to participate. He emphasized sectors like agro-production, food packaging, smart agriculture, and fertilizer production as potential areas for Qatari investment. These SEZs offer comprehensive incentives to foreign investors, including those in petrochemicals, energy, machinery, IT, electronics, ceramics, agri-business, and food processing.

Following the meeting, the President’s Press Secretary, Md Joynal Abedin, shared valuable insights. He conveyed the President’s appreciation to Qatar, highlighting its role as a key partner in the Gulf region. Abedin emphasized that the Emir’s visit and the subsequent signing of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) reflected both countries’ dedication to strengthening and broadening their bilateral cooperation and partnership.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin acknowledged the valuable contribution of around 375,000 Bangladeshi nationals residing in Qatar to the socio-economic development of both countries. He urged the Emir to consider recruiting more semi-skilled and skilled manpower, IT experts, professionals, and technicians from Bangladesh.

Furthermore, President Shahabuddin expressed gratitude to Qatar for its consistent supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Bangladesh. He emphasized the importance of long-term energy collaboration between the two nations. Additionally, the President urged Qatar to expedite the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Defence Cooperation. He also sought swift action on the agreement with Qatar Armed Forces concerning the deputation of officers, highlighting their significance in strengthening bilateral defense ties.

Trade relations were another focal point of the discussion. In the fiscal year 2022-23, bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Qatar stood at $2.220 billion, with Bangladesh exporting goods worth $43 million. President Mohammed Shahabuddin emphasized the need to tap into the trade and business potential further.

Additionally, President Mohammed Shahabuddin praised Qatar, Egypt, and the United States for their efforts in mediating negotiations between Israel and Hamas. He stressed the crucial role these countries play in fostering regional stability and promoting cooperation.

The Emir of Qatar reciprocated the sentiments, praising Bangladesh’s socio-economic progress across various sectors under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership. He assured Bangladesh of Qatar’s continued support in the future.

The Emir emphasized the significance of the agreements and MoUs signed during the visit, asserting that they would bolster bilateral and multilateral relations between Qatar and Bangladesh.

Both leaders expressed optimism that the Emir’s visit would pave the way for enhancing the multifaceted partnership between the two nations. The presence of key officials from both sides, including Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu, and Qatar’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani, further emphasized the importance of the meeting.

After the official discussions, the Amir participated in a photo session and signed the visitor’s book at Bangabhaban. President Mohammed Shahabuddin hosted a state luncheon in honor of the Amir at Durbar Hall. The event was attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Obaidul Hasan, ministers, advisers to the prime minister, and other dignitaries. A cultural function added a touch of celebration to the occasion.

The meeting between President Mohammed Shahabuddin and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, represented a pivotal moment in fortifying the relationship between Bangladesh and Qatar. The talks delved into areas of mutual cooperation, potential investment opportunities, enhancing trade ties, and ensuring regional stability. Both leaders reaffirmed their dedication to intensifying their partnership. They also expressed eagerness to identify and pursue new avenues for collaboration across diverse sectors to benefit both nations.


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