Netherlands visit adds new dimension to Dhaka-Amsterdam ties: PM
09 November 2015, Nirapad News: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her just-concluded visit to the Netherlands has added a new dimension to the bilateral relations between Dhaka and Amsterdam and further brightened country’s image on the world stage, particularly in Europe.
“I believe that the tour has further consolidated and widened the bilateral cooperation between the Netherlands and Bangladesh and made it visible,” she told a crowded press conference at her Official Ganobhaban residence this noon.
The press conference was convened to highlight achievements of her three-day official visit to the Netherlands. The visit took place from November 3-5 at the invitation of Dutch Premier Mark Rutte.
Minister for Public Administration and Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s Media Advisor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, State Minister for Water Resources Mohammad Nazrul Islam and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam were present on the dais, while PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the press conference.
During the visit, Sheikh Hasina said, she held official talks with Dutch Premier Mark Rutte and discussed global issues related to bilateral ties and mutual interests.
At the talks, she said, the two countries agreed to deepen, strengthen and expand the existing cooperation for properly formulating and implementing the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.
“We have also agreed to expand cooperation in the fields of water resources management, land reclamation and accretion as well as land and agriculture management in Bangladesh,” the PM said.
Besides, the two sides agreed to further increase the existing level of trade and investment relation between the two countries alongside strengthening food security for 16 crore people of the country applying technology and innovative strategy of the Netherlands, she said.
In this connection, the Prime Minister said, Dutch cooperation in the light of its experience and innovative strategy could help keeping Bangladesh safe and secured facing adverse impact of climate change through application and implementation of Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.
Besides, she said, cooperation on agriculture sector has been identified as one of the most important sector, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said the Dutch prime minister highly appreciated Bangladesh’s stunning successes in the socioeconomic field as well as achievement of MDGs.
In this connection, Mark Rutte also expressed keenness to work together with Bangladesh government hoping that Bangladesh would also be able to achieve sustainable development goals.
She said, the two countries signed four instruments between the two countries after fruitful talks on strengthening bilateral cooperation in various sectors.
The instruments are: Memorandum of Understanding on Foreign Office Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Letter of Intent (LoI) between the Foreign Service Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Cligendael, The Hague, the Netherlands, the Memorandum of Agreement between Saxion University of Applied Sciences, School of Creative Technology and BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology; and MoU between Saxion University of Applied Sciences and BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology.
The Prime Minister said she also had a meeting with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands at the Royal Palace.
She said the Dutch Queen highly appreciated Bangladesh’s impressive progress in the socioeconomic field. The Queen, she said, noted specially the issue of generating employment for the marginal community through inclusive financing.
In this connection, the PM said the Dutch Queen will pay a visit to Bangladesh as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on the Inclusive Finance for Development in the middle of this month.
Sheikh Hasina said Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen and Minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen called on her at the Grand Hotel Amrath Kurhaus in The Hague.
The PM said she visited the APMT Seaport established at Rotterdam through land reclamation and accretion from the sea and river.
She also witnessed a presentation and took part in an event that highlighted challenges in implementing Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 and the Dutch Delta Approach.
The Prime Minister said she joined a business seminar on “Transforming Bangladesh: Partnership for Economic Opportunities” at the Kurhaus Hotel in The Hague.
At the seminar, she said, the speakers including her projected Bangladesh as a very attractive place for trade and investment.
The business leaders of both countries also identified the four sectors–agriculture, industry, infrastructure and water resources–as attractive for investment in Bangladesh.
The Dutch business leaders said a positive trade and investment-friendly environment is prevailing in Bangladesh. They also opined that trade and investment are profitable in Bangladesh.
At the press conference, the Prime Minister responded to a number of questions on her Netherlands tour as well as on current political situation of the country.
At the outset of her press conference, she congratulated Bangladesh cricket team on their victory in the first one-day international (ODI) match against the touring Zimbabwe side at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
She also felicitated the players who made records in the limited over match.
Sheikh Hasina also mentioned the recognition of the International Mother Language Institute of Bangladesh by the UNESCO as the grade II organization of the UN body and said this is a huge achievement for the country.