Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has stressed on increasing Indonesian imports from Bangladesh while speaking with his Indonesian counterpart Retno LP Marsudi over a phone call on Wednesday (19 January).
The two foreign ministers expressed deep satisfaction at the existing excellent bilateral cooperation between the two countries and vowed to further strengthen the relations in depth and dimensions.
Dr Momen observed that Bangladesh has been enjoying cordial relationship with Indonesia since independence. Both the ministers agreed to celebrate the 50th year of the diplomatic ties this year in a befitting manner.
Foreign Minister Momen noted with satisfaction the rising trend in bilateral trade and commerce between Bangladesh and Indonesia in recent years. In this connection, he emphasised on an expeditious conclusion of the proposed Bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement for further enhancement of trade and commerce between the two countries, preferably during this year that marks a watershed in the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Indonesia. He also stressed on reducing the imbalance existing in the bilateral trade by increasing Indonesian imports from Bangladesh.
Reciprocating the sentiment of Dr Momen, Marsudi noted with profound satisfaction the fact that Bangladesh- Indonesia bilateral relations was growing from strength to strength and laid importance on further political and economic collaboration for taking the relations to a newer level.
Dr Momen thanked Indonesia for their humanitarian support extended to the Rohingyas and sought political support from Indonesia on the repatriation issue. He requested for Indonesia's and ASEAN's continued support in bringing about a sustainable and permanent solution to this protracted crisis.
He further highlighted that Bangladesh wishes to have greater interaction with ASEAN since there are vibrant trade relations with some members of ASEAN and the potential synergy is evident.
Momen sought Indonesian support to Bangladesh's candidature for ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partner. The Indonesian Foreign Minister, while expressing her support for Bangladesh's candidature, suggested for fostering a greater engagement with the member countries of the ASEAN in this regards. He also sought Indonesian support in favour of Bangladesh in various regional and multilateral fora.