Bangladesh and Serbia have agreed to hold Foreign Office Consultations to strengthen their bilateral relationship.
At a meeting on the sidelines of the 60th commemorative events of the Non-Aligned Movement or NAM in Belgrade on Thursday, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic both emphasised an early signing of two MoUs on visa waivers for diplomatic and official passports, and for defence cooperation.
The representatives from the two countries also discussed the possibility of hosting joint celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two friendly countries.
The Foreign Minister sought the support of Serbia for the early repatriation of Rohingyas temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh, to their homeland Myanmar.
Possibilities of trade, investment, and workforce export were discussed during the meeting.
At the meeting, AK Abdul Momen highlighted Bangladesh's non-aligned foreign policy as envisioned by the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Recalling with profound gratitude that former Yugoslavia was one of the first European countries to recognize Bangladesh immediately after our independence, the foreign minister stressed the need for further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
Dr Momen informed his Serbian counterpart about the achievements of Bangladesh in containing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the country's economy through early intervention and effective action. He also spoke of our massive vaccination program, which was highly lauded by the Serbian side.
On the sidelines of the NAM summit, the foreign minister also met with Dr Darija Kisic Tepavcevic, minister of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, and Tatjana Matic, minister for Trade, Tourism, and Telecommunication, said the press release.
On Wednesday, at Momen's meeting with Dr Darija Kisic Tepavcevic, the possibility of engaging the Bangladeshi workforce in the development of Serbia was also discussed.
Momen informed the Serbian minister of the hardworking workforce of Bangladesh already contributing to the infrastructure development of many countries, including in the Middle East. He proposed that Serbia can benefit from the expertise of the Bangladeshi workforce, especially in infrastructure development, health, and tourism.
The Serbian minister welcomed the idea and recommended working closely towards the conclusion of a cooperation agreement in labor and employment.
Discussing various socio-economic issues, the Serbian labour minister expressed amazement at the remarkable progress of Bangladesh in women's empowerment and the education of girls, lauding the political leadership of Bangladesh for firmly steering the country.
On Monday, the foreign minister also met with Serbian Trade Minister Tatjana Matic. Terming Bangladesh as "a land of opportunities," Dr Momen highlighted the tremendous potential for developing trade relations between the two countries. He informed the Serbian minister about the generous incentives offered by the Government of Bangladesh to foreign investors and invited Serbian business delegations to visit Bangladesh.