BSS-41 PM for maintaining ‘close cooperation’ among neighbours

ZCZC

BSS-41

PM-SRI-LANKA-HC

PM for maintaining ‘close cooperation’ among neighbours

DHAKA, June 26, 2018 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today put
emphasis on maintaining ‘close cooperation’ among the neighbouring countries,
saying that it can speed up development in the South Asia region.

“We value the neighbouring countries as the ‘close cooperation’ among
them can accelerate development and growth in the region,” she said.

The Prime Minister said this when newly-appointed Sri Lankan High
Commissioner to Bangladesh General AWJC De Silva paid a courtesy call on her
at her Jatiya Sangsad office here this evening.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

Stressing the need for taking collective efforts by the neighbouring
countries to root out poverty, Sheikh Hasina said they should work together
for all round development and poverty alleviation. “It will be good for all,”
she said.

Mentioning higher GDP growth and per capita income in Bangladesh, she
said: “After formation of the government in 2009, we’ve been putting our
strides to implement our development plan in line with Bangabandhu’s dream of
establishing hunger- and poverty-free Sonar Bangla.”

While talking about the Rohingya issue, the Prime Minister termed it as a
“big problem” and said the government is having talks with Myanmar to resolve
the crisis.

She said Myanmar has agreed to take back its nationals from Bangladesh,
but in reality they are not acting accordingly.

The premier sought Sri Lankan investment in Bangladesh for mutual benefits
of the two countries.

“We’re setting up 100 special economic zones across the country for
further industrialisation and generating employment and the Sri Lankan
entrepreneurs could make investment in these zones by taking the advantages
of investment-friendly environment here,” she said.

The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is exporting pharmaceuticals to over
90 countries. “We also export potato and jute to Sri Lanka,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina pointed out that a huge number of Sri Lankan, Nepalese and
Bhutanese students are studying in Bangladeshi educational institutions,
including medical colleges. “We welcome more Sri Lankan students to study in
our medical colleges,” she said.

At the meeting, the Sri Lankan envoy highly appreciated Bangladesh’s
tremendous socioeconomic uplift over last couple of years under the
leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“The growth and development of the country are unique,” he said.

General De Silva mentioned that Bangladesh is the “most preferred
destination” of the Sri Lankan medical students and said some 225 students
from Sri Lanka are currently studying in different medical colleges in
Bangladesh.

He also said many Sri Lankans are also working in Bangladesh’s various
sectors, including garment industries.

The Sri Lankan envoy expressed his country’s keen interest in cooperation
with Bangladesh in agriculture sector.

In reply, Sheikh Hasina assured of extending cooperation from Bangladesh.

About a free trade agreement to be signed between the two neighbouring
countries, General De Silva said the initiative has already been mooted in
this regard.

At the outset of the meeting, the Sri Lankan envoy conveyed greetings of
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to Sheikh Hasina.

PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman was present on the occasion,
among others.

BSS/SH/MRI/2313 hrs