Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her recent visit to the Netherlands has added a new dimension to the bilateral ties between Bangladesh and the northwestern European country, reports UNB.
“As a whole, I believe, this visit has added a new dimension to the bilateral ties of the two countries apart from brightening Bangladesh’ s image in the global arena, particularly Europe,” she said. The visit took place from November 3-5 at the invitation of Dutch Premier Mark Rutte.
Through this visit, she said, the bilateral cooperation between the two countries has further expanded, become visible and got stronger.
Public Administration Minister and Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s Media Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, State Minister for Water Resour-ces Mohammad Nazrul Islam and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam were present at the dais.
Utilising the experience of the Netherlands, the Prime Minister said, her government is considering forming of a Delta Commission as well as forming a Delta Fund for mobilising necessary resources to implement the ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100′.
She said this commission would look after issues concerned like water resource management, land reclamation from the sea and rivers, land protection and agriculture management.
Hasina said during her visit she held official a bilateral meeting with her Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte.
The Dutch Prime Minister highly appreciated Bangladesh’s stunning successes on socio-economic sectors as well as on achievement of MDGs, she said.
Mark Rutte also expressed keenness to work together with Bangladesh government hoping that Bangladesh would also be able to achieve the sustainable development goals.
During her bilateral talks, Hasina said, the two sides agreed on strengthening, expanding and deepening of the existing level of cooperation on appropriately formulation and implementation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.
The Prime Minister said the two countries have also agreed to expand cooperation on water resource management, land reclamation as well as land agriculture management in Bang-ladesh.
Besides, the two sides also agreed to further improve the existing level of trade and investment relations between the two countries alongside streng-thening food security for 16 crore people of the country applying technology and innovative strategy of the Netherlands, she said.
She also said strengthening cooperation on agriculture has been identified as one of the most important sectors of bilateral cooperation.
Asked when the implementation of the Delta Plan 2100 will begin, Hasina said the Plan is being formulated while Bangladesh has much more scope and opportunity to tap the potentials of land reclamation from rivers and the sea since it is a big delta and has over 1200 rivers, including small rivers.
A sea aquarium will also be set up in Cox’s Bazar, the Prime Minister said.
Hasina said four instruments, including Memor-andum of Understanding and Letter of Intent, were signed between the two countries after fruitful official talks on strengthening bilateral cooperation on various sectors.
The instruments are: Memorandum of Unders-tanding on Foreign Office Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Letter of Intent (LoI) between the Foreign Service Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Cligendael, The Hague, the Netherlands, the Memorandum of Agreement between Saxion University of Applied Sciences, School of Creative Technology and BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology; and MoU between Saxion University of Applied Sciences and BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology.
Hasina said she also called on Queen Maxima of the Netherlands while Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Plo-umen and Dutch Infrastructure and Environ-ment Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen called on her at Grand Hotel Amrath Kurhaus in The Hague.
She said Queen Maxima, also the special envoy of the UN Secretary General on Inclusive Finance for Development, would visit Bangladesh in the middle of this month.
Hasina said she also witnessed a presentation on the Deltaic Island which she visited by a helicopter, attended a discussion on comparison of the Delta Plans of Bangladesh and that of the Netherlands.
Besides, she visited Koornstra & Co that preserves vegetables without chemicals controlling temperature on the outskirts of The Hague as well as Tomato World, a greenhouse which produces 50 varieties of tomatoes, the Prime Minister said.
She said while joining a business seminar titled ‘Transforming Bangladesh: Partnership for Economic Opportunities’ she alongside the speakers of both Bangladesh and the Netherlands termed Bangladesh as one of the most attractive destinations of trade and investment.
The Dutch business leaders from their longtime experience of doing business and trades in Bangladesh said a very positive and business-friendly environment now exists in Bangladesh. They also said doing business and investment in Bangladesh is profitable, she mentioned.
Extracted from: The Financial Express