Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday urged the member states of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to push for tapping into the tremendous amount of untapped and unexplored potential for growth.
He also requested them to complement each other with more intense interaction, ideas-sharing and enhanced cooperation.
The foreign minister made the remarks while announcing the opening of the 13th biannual CSO through a video message.
The two-day Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Committee of Senior Officials' (CSO) meeting began in Sylhet on Tuesday.
Bangladesh, the current Chair of IORA, hosted the meeting.
Seventy-five delegates from 23 IORA Member States and IORA Secretariat attended the CSO, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
They discussed various issues relating to six priority areas and two focus areas of IORA- maritime safety and security; trade and investment facilitation; fisheries management; disaster risk management; tourism and cultural exchanges; academic, science and technology cooperation; blue economy and women's economic empowerment.
Other important issues including institutional arrangement and broadening engagement will also be discussed.
Secretary, Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (retd) Md Khurshed Alam delivered the opening remarks and chaired the meeting.
IORA Secretary General Dr Salman Al Farisi; Vice-Chair Sudharshan Seneviratne, Sri Lankan high commissioner to Bangladesh; IORA past chair Ahmed Albadawi, acting deputy director of Economic and Trade Affairs Department, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs also spoke at the opening session.
Secretary Alam said, "The great vision of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for transforming Bangladesh into a prosperous nation.
"Under the able and apt leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh's strive to become an industrial, digital and prosperous country by 2041 through harmonising social and economic development has been applauded across the world."
Alam appreciated the IORA Secretary General and his colleagues in the Secretariat for their admirable efforts and thanked all the Member States for their contributions to strengthening the IORA platform.
He urged the IORA Member States to share ideas, exchange visions and put together their efforts to maintain the momentum IORA has seen in recent years and to take this platform to a greater height.
Secretary Alam assured Bangladesh's commitment to making wholehearted efforts to strengthen maritime cooperation for a peaceful, stable, inclusive and prosperous Indian Ocean region.