In a joint statement released Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President of the Maldives Solih noted that the Maldives and Bangladesh have traditionally and historically close relations and that the two countries share common attributes through their values, faith and their traditions.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina flew to the Maldives on Wednesday for a six-day visit. She met with President Solih on Thursday for bilateral talks. New agreements have also been signed between the two countries on taxation and cooperation in the fields of health, education, youth and sports.
President Solih congratulated Bangladesh on the significant progress made in the economic, social and political spheres and highlighted the efforts which led Bangladesh to qualify to move from the list of least developed countries of the United Nations to the status of country in development.
He noted the donation of military vehicles, the collaboration on the health front, and the increased opportunities for higher education, vocational training and skills development for Maldivian students in Bangladesh.
Bilateral cooperation between the two countries will only strengthen in the future, he said.
Reflecting on their official talks, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina noted that direct air connectivity between the two countries has been enhanced in the hope of improving people-to-people contacts and cooperative tourism.
She announced her government’s decision to facilitate visas on arrival for Maldivian nationals in the context of improving the situation amid the current pandemic and to facilitate long-term student visas for Maldivian nationals. Maldivian students in Bangladesh.
President Solih and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reaffirmed their commitment to work together at the United Nations and other multilateral fora and expressed their willingness to promote constructive engagement in all areas.
AGREEMENT NEEDED TO IMPROVE BILATERAL TRADE IN BANGLADESH AND THE MALDIVES: HASINA
A preferential trade agreement between Bangladesh and the Maldives is needed to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said.
Despite the opportunities, the two countries have yet to fully exploit the potential of bilateral trade and investment, the prime minister said in her speech in Male, during her first bilateral state visit to the Maldives.
“With its growing manufacturing capacity, Bangladesh would be able to supply many quality products to the Maldives at a competitive price. I reiterate the need for a preferential trade agreement between the two countries and a bilateral investment protection agreement for the mutual facilitation of investments.
Hasina said the two leaders discussed the regularization of undocumented Bangladeshi nationals whose contributions to both economies are substantial, as the well-being of the people is one of their priorities.
They also discussed cooperation in multilateral forums, mutual support for nominations in various regional and multilateral forums and cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and agreed to work together to address the challenge of climate change and repatriation. Rohingya Muslims forcibly displaced to Myanmar, Hasina said. .
The two leaders agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation, particularly in the sectors of health, education and development of human resources, youth and sports, fishing and agriculture.
“It is a matter of great satisfaction that Bangladesh has accepted the offer of recruiting health professionals from Bangladesh and the opportunities for specialized post-graduate medical courses for Maldivian students. “
Hasina pointed out that direct air connectivity between Bangladesh and the Maldives has been improved with the start of flights by Bangladeshi airlines US-Bangla.
The national carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines is considering introducing Dhaka-Male flights, she said.
“We hope that with the direct flights, people-to-people contacts and tourist cooperation exchanges will increase,” Hasina said, adding that the two leaders had considered the possibility of establishing a direct shipping line.
Calling their discussion “very fruitful” across the spectrum of bilateral relations, Hasina said she reviewed the progress made so far on previous decisions and found the outcome satisfactory.
“Following the official talks, we witnessed the signing of some bilateral instruments. We also witnessed the handing over of 13 military vehicles by the government of Bangladesh to the government of Maldives, as a sign of goodwill. “
“As Bangladesh completes its first half-century of travel as an independent nation and plans to transform into a modern, prosperous and developed economy by 2041, realizing Father the Nation’s vision for a Sonar Bangla or Golden Bengal, we look forward to collaborating with the Maldives in areas of our commonality for the benefit of our peoples, ”she said.