State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam met the visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun on Wednesday (October 14) to discuss the bilateral political and economic relations between Bangladesh and US - including trade, investment, public health cooperation, agriculture and energy cooperation - at length.
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), Foreign Secretary, Commerce Secretary, CEO of Public Private Partnership and other senior officials attended the meeting. Salman F Rahman, adviser for Private Industry and Investment to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, was also present during the second segment of the meeting.
US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun paid a visit to India before coming to Bangladesh for his two-day official visit on 14-15 October 2020 with the aim to strengthen ties between two countries.
The US Deputy Secretary is expected to meet the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister today.
At the meeting, the State Minister expressed condolence for the loss of lives in the USA and appreciated the support provided by the USA to Bangladesh in handling the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
Both sides emphasized the need for close cooperation between the Governments of the United States and Bangladesh to address the continually evolving challenges related to health and economy during the current and post-Covid-19 global pandemic situation.
Shahriar Alam also appreciated USA's principled stand and steadfast humanitarian and diplomatic support to Bangladesh in dealing with the Rohingya crisis.
Deputy Secretary Beigun conveyed the US Government's evolving interest in Bangladesh.
He lauded the economic stability of Bangladesh and the generosity shown by Bangladesh to shelter Rohingyas and assured continued US support in bringing a peaceful and long-term solution to the problem.
Discussion was held about the future trade possibilities of the US in the large market of Bangladesh while both sides expressed their optimism that the US companies may take advantage of the competitiveness of Bangladesh and invest in the country in greater volume particularly in the areas of jute, ship building, leather, ICT, energy, pharmaceuticals and infrastructural development.
Mentioning the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's emphasis on strengthening the agriculture sector through agriculture trade and technology, Advisor Salman F Rahman said in the meeting that Bangladesh is willing to invest in the agro-processing sector. He also sought US co-operation in the processing sector of information and communication technology. However, both the leaders agreed to work on the adverse impact of climate change the world is facing.
As the State Minister Alam stressed on the resumption of visa for Bangladeshi students, the US Deputy Secretary informed them that they are actively considering resumption of service at the US Embassy following appropriate health guidelines.
Shahriar Alam hoped that both the countries would work together to restart Biman flights to New York.
Moreover, the State Minister sought US Deputy Secretary's support in repatriating Rashed Chowdhury, the killer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman residing in the USA. Deputy Secretary Beigun assured him of extending cooperation in this regard.
During the meeting Mr. Beigun also highlighted the productive discussion that took place in the last consultation on economic partnership in September and hoped that the two countries will have regular discussion on various issues of mutual interest and build upon that in the days to comE