BSS-34 PM expects her Brunei visit to further strengthen bilateral ties





PM expects her Brunei visit to further strengthen bilateral ties

DHAKA, April 26, 2019 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed
her firm belief that her just-concluded maiden official visit to Brunei would
further strengthen the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the
Southeast Asian country.

“It was my maiden official visit to Brunei. During the visit, hospitality
and honour that the Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah showed to me and my
entourage members were rare,” she told a crowded press conference at
Ganabhaban here this afternoon. In overall consideration, the premier said
the visit took the bilateral relations to a “new height”, as the presser was
convened to brief the media about the outcome of her three-day tour.

Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul
Momen, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, and State
Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Ali Ashraf Khan Khashru were present on
the dais.

Besides, senior Awami League leaders, senior journalists and government
officials were present at the press conference moderated by PM’s Press
Secretary Ihsanul Karim.

The premier said she sought Brunei Sultan’s cooperation in ensuring ASEAN
countries effective role to resolve the Rohingya crisis while he “extended
thanks to Bangladesh for giving shelter and ensuring humanitarian aid to 11
lakh Rohingyas”.

The Brunei Sultan, she said, put emphasis on “just and permanent solution”
to the Rohingya crisis and expressed solidarity with Bangladesh’s efforts for
their safe and dignified return.

At the outset of her written speech, the premier expressed deep shock at
the tragic death of party leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim’s grandson Zayan
Chowdhury, in the deadly terror attack in Sri Lanka.

She said just upon her arrival at the Brunei International Airport on 21st
April, she came to know about the attack and immediately conveyed her
messages of condolence to the Sri Lankan Prime Minister.

Sheikh Hasina once again denounced the “cowardly attack” and called upon
all to create a louder global opinion and undertake effective measures
against terrorism.

The prime minister said on the second day of her Brunei visit, six
bilateral memoranda of understanding were inked following her meeting with
the Brunei Sultan.

The MoUs are on scientific and technical cooperation on agriculture;
cooperation in the field of fisheries; cooperation in the field of livestock;
cultural and arts; and LNG supplies.

During the visit, she said, the two countries exchanged diplomatic letters
for visa relaxation for diplomatic and official passport holders of the both

The premier said she attended the Bangladesh-Brunei Joint Business Forum
joined by top businessmen, concerned ministers and high-ranking officials of
both the countries.

“At that event, I portrayed Bangladesh’s liberal trade and investment
atmosphere and called upon the entrepreneurs of Brunei to invest in our
country,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said ahead of her formal talks with Bolkiah, she along with
high officials of her entourage attended a welcome meeting with him and his
Royal family members at the Sultan’s Palace.

During the talks, Sheikh Hasina said, she made specific proposals of
cooperation in the field of exchanges of visit at high level, trade,
investment, food, agriculture, fisheries, energy, information and
communication technology and aviation.

“The Brunei Sultan welcomed my proposals and expressed his pledges to work
together for their implementation,” she said.

She said Brunei acknowledged Bangladesh’s achievements in food and
agriculture sectors and expressed willingness to extend massive bilateral
cooperation in those sectors.

The premier said the meeting decided to increase contacts between
businessmen, conduct survey on introducing priority-based trade and exemption
of taxes.

She said the meeting primarily identified food processing, energy,
information technology, shipbuilding industry, tourism infrastructure and
jute industry as the potential sectors for investment.

The two countries, she said, agreed to strengthen bilateral relations in
imparting training in health sector and recruiting professionals, drug
manufacturing and business, constructing specialized health centers and other

The two countries, he said, agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding
comprising ‘Consultation Mechanism’ for holding regular bilateral discussion
for expatriate workers.

“We agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in education, culture, youth
and sports, tourism and aviation sectors (as well)” alongside close people-
to-people contact for strengthening bilateral ties.

The prime minister said the two sides agreed to take initiative to sign
Air Service Agreement within “shortest possible time”.

She said the Sultan acclaimed the Bangladesh government’s role in
different important regional and international issues including the UN
peacekeeping mission.

The prime minister said the two countries agreed to enhance cooperation in
different international forums including the ASEAN, OIC, Commonwealth and UN.

Sheikh Hasina said the Brunei Sultan extended his support for Bangladesh
initiative to form a regional forum to bolster economic relations among five
OIC countries of South and South-East Asian regions.

“The Sultan assured of taking effective steps in enhancing cooperation of
ASEAN with Bangladesh,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the Brunei Sultan accepted her invitation to visit
Bangladesh and expressed his willingness to visit Dhaka at a convenient time.

The prime minister said on April 23 she laid the foundation stone of new
Chancery Building of Bangladesh High Commission at the Diplomatic Enclave at
Jalan Kebangsaan in Brunei capital.

BSS/MKD/SH/AR/1955 hrs