Dhaka, Kuwait agree on economic cooperation?

Dhaka, Kuwait agree on economic cooperation?

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Dhaka – Bangladesh and Kuwait on Wednesday pledged to work together against the twin dangers presented by terrorism and extreme violence to the Muslim community worldwide, besides reaching agreement over a wide-ranging agenda of economic cooperation.
The two countries also reached a consensus to further expand cooperation in the fields of economy, investment, trade, energy, manpower, military and ICT.
The consensus came during the officials talks between the two countries held at the Prime Minister’s Office this afternoon. Visiting Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah led the Kuwaiti side, while the Bangladesh side was headed by Premier Sheikh Hasina.The Kuwaiti Premier highly praised the initiatives of the Bangladesh Prime Minister to fight terrorism and extreme violence, according to Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque, who debriefed reporters.
The Foreign Secretary said that the official talks highlighted six broad areas: investment promotion, energy cooperation, reducing trade gap, boosting manpower export to Kuwait, defense cooperation and technical and economical cooperation.
He said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has requested her Kuwaiti counterpart to invest in the country’s Special Economic Zones in various sectors especially in IT and industries. In response, the Kuwaiti side accepted the request cordially while a big business delegation is now accompanying the Kuwaiti Prime Minister and inked a deal with the FBCCI for business promotion.
Mentioning the Bangladesh government’s priority on the energy sector, Sheikh Hasina sought support of Kuwait since this country has vast expertise and experience in energy resources.
In response, the Kuwaiti Prime Minister expressed his inclination to extend support to
Bangladesh in energy exploration adding that Bangladesh and Kuwait could work jointly for exploration of oil and gas resources in the Bay of Bengal.
The Bangladesh Prime Minister also proposed for formation of a joint trade committee and hold meeting as well as duty free and quota free access of Bangladeshi products to Kuwait to further reduce the existing trade gap.
Regarding boosting manpower export to Kuwait, a proposal was also made to discuss the issue at joint working group level as the current number of Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait is around 200,000.
Expressing his satisfaction at the existing defense cooperation between the two countries which scaled up in the early 90s, the Kuwaiti side lauded the standards of the defense force of Bangladesh and hoped that this defense cooperation would further strengthen in the coming days.
In the field of technical and economical cooperation, the issue of investment in the infrastructural sector especially by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development
(KFAED), was also discussed in the bilateral talks. Besides, it was also decided to hold intensive discussions at Foreign Ministry level.
About the visa exemption agreement, Sheikh Hasina urged her Kuwaiti counterpart to take a facilitating role for the other types of passports.
Answering a question, Haque said that during the official talks, it was proposed for forming a Joint Working Group and making the issue of boosting manpower export to Kuwait functional.
He said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her last visit to Kuwait, sought support of the Kuwaiti government, in setting up of an oil refinery in Bangladesh. “The issue was also discussed in the official talks, two technical delegations of Kuwait have already visited Bangladesh in this regard and there is progress.”
The Kuwaiti Prime Minister informed Sheikh Hasina that the current Emir of Kuwait, when he was the Foreign Minister of the Gulf State, escorted Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the OIC summit held in Lahore in 1974.
Regarding the unity of the Muslim Ummah, the Kuwaiti Prime Minister emphasized on how both Kuwait and Bangladesh could work for ensuring welfare of the Muslim Ummah.
Later, the Kuwaiti Prime Minister joined a state banquet hosted by his counterpart at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel.

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