Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday laid emphasis on working together to eliminate poverty from the South Asian countries as poverty is the common enemy in the region.
"The main enemy in the South Asian countries is poverty. So, all will have to work together for poverty alleviation," she said.
The premier made this remark while Secretary General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Esala Ruwan Weerakun with his wife paid a courtesy call on her at the latter's official residence Ganobhaban in Dhaka.
The premier's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the media after the meeting.
The prime minister said, "We, the countries in this region, should cooperate with each other. Many problems can be solved bilaterally."
She said when Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had visited Kolkata after the Liberation War, he in his speech floated the idea of regional cooperation there.
The Saarc Secretary General Esala Weerakun stressed the need for strengthening its food bank.
He highly praised Bangladesh for its contribution to Saarc Agriculture Centre.
The Sri Lankan diplomat said the pandemic is also responsible for the ongoing economic crisis in his country and appreciated the support Bangladesh has extended towards his country.
Sri Lanka now needs fertilizer as the rice production dropped by 50% there, he added.
In this context, the prime minister said Bangladesh, despite being a country with a huge population, may provide potatoes to Sri Lanka during this crisis.
She said Bangladesh has taken steps to grow more foods amid the global food problem following the Covid-19 pandemic and Ukraine-Russia War.
Sheikh Hasina added that Bangladeshi researchers are making efforts to develop different saline-and-drought-tolerant varieties of rice.
Earlier, the Saarc secretary general visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum and appreciated the legacy of Bangabandhu.
Ambassador-at-large Mohammad Ziauddin and Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Senior Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present at the occasion.