Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said Bangladesh wants to make the best use of the next two years to boost its image abroad that will help bring foreign investment and trade benefits in a big way.
"We want to change our branding, giving an image boost. We're no more a poverty-stricken country. It's a vibrant economy. It's a land of opportunities. We want to tell the stories to the world to boost trade and investment," he said.
The Foreign Minister was addressing a seminar titled 'Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Prudent Diplomacy: A Decade of Bangladesh's Strong Presence in World Scene' as the chief guest.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen delivered keynote speech at the seminar organised by Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) with its President Angur Nahar Monty in the chair.
Former Ambassador Waliur Rahman, former Foreign Secretary Md Touhid Hossain, Dhaka University International Relations Department Prof Dr Delwar Hossain and former Ambassador Nasim Ferdous Ferdous, former DCAB President Masud Karim and DCAB General Secretary Touhidur Rahman also spoke.
Bangladesh will celebrate the birth centenary of father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through yearlong programmes beginning from March 17. The country will celebrate the golden jubilee of independence on March 26, 2021, a year after celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu.
Acknowledging challenges ahead, the Foreign Minister said the government is following a balanced policy in dealing with big countries and laid emphasis on both bilateral and multilateral engagements.
Giving much importance on public diplomacy, Dr Momen said they need robust public engagement to build opinion abroad about positive Bangladesh.
Turning to Bangladesh's relations with neighbours, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh maintains very good relations with India and expects that there will be no such issue which might have impact on Bangladesh. "We're your (India) friend, the closest friend."
Highlighting achievements made so far, Dr Momen said, "We're hopeful that we'll achieve our goals ahead."
Talking about Rohingya issue, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh has proven that this is the land of humanity and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is truly a 'mother of humanity'.
In his keynote speech, Masud Momen highlighted Bangladesh's achievements made so far and said, "Our diplomacy is capable of drawing a picture of a successful Bangladesh."
He said a picture of responsible, sincere, democratic, rule-based effective state appears when the name of Bangladesh is pronounced which is taking millions of people towards the peak of development.
Appreciating Bangladesh's balanced diplomacy, Delwar Hossain said this must continue. "Bangladesh is very positively engaged with all powerful countries. This is very effective and meaningful."
The foreign affairs analyst who sees world's strong presence in Bangladesh, too, said public diplomacy needs to be strengthened which he thinks will help boost Bangladesh's image further.
Former Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain raised the issue of border killings along Bangladesh-India border and thanked the Foreign Minister for conveying the Indian Foreign Secretary that there should not be killing between friends.
He also raised the Rohingya issue saying it is one of the biggest challenges for the government as what he says China, India, Russia, even Japan are not with Bangladesh on the issue.