April 17, 2024, 12:05 am

Diplomatic correspondent

2023-02-08 03:21:32 BdST

Shahriar pays first-ever bilateral official visit to Eswatini

Eswatini looks to develop business and investment relations with Bangladesh and suggested the conclusion of the MoU between FBCCI and the Eswatinian apex chamber of commerce in the field of business cooperation.

This was stated by Ms Thulisile Dladla, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Eswatini during a bilateral meeting with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam in Mbabane on Monday (Feb 6).

The Bangladesh State Minister is paying a two-day official bilateral visit to the Kingdom.

The High Commissioner of Bangladesh to South Africa and high officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were present at the meeting.

The visit comes in the wake of the visit of the Minister for Commerce, Industry and Trade of Eswatini Mr. Manqoba Khumalo to Dhaka in July 2022. 

At the outset of the meeting, the Foreign Minister of Eswatini welcomed the Bangladesh delegation.

Ms Dladla mentioned the excellent bilateral relations that exist between Bangladesh and Eswatini and expressed desire to enhance the present level of relations with Bangladesh.

She maintained that Eswatini looks to develop business and investment relations with Bangladesh.

She suggested the conclusion of the MoU between FBCCI and the Eswatinian apex chamber of commerce in the field of  business cooperation.

She also underlined the importance of regular bilateral consultations between the Foreign Ministries.

The State Minister conveyed the greetings of President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to King Mswati III. He remarked that the bilateral talks will allow identifying potential areas of cooperation between Bangladesh and Eswatini.

Expressing happiness over his visit to Eswatini, he commented that both countries are exchanging support and cooperating with each other at the UN and international organizations.

Shahriar Alam stressed on promotion of trade and investment relations between Bangladesh and Eswatini to the mutual benefit of the two countries.

He underlined the need of conclusion of agreements in visa waiver for diplomats and official passport holders and avoidance of double taxation with a view to promoting contacts, trade and business.

He stated that in the context of growing demand for food and essential commodities, Bangladesh and Eswatini may  establish cooperation in agro-production, agro-processing and food security areas.

He mentioned the remarkable success that Bangladesh has achieved in agriculture and social development sectors including achieving targets of the MDGs. He mentioned that Bangladesh is a member of the global crisis response group.

The State Minister also mentioned the role that Bangladesh is playing in climate adaptation and mitigation areas. He invited the Eswatinian armed forces officers to join courses in defence institutions in Bangladesh.

Briefing on the opportunities of higher education in Bangladesh private universities, Shahriar Alam suggested that Eswatinian students may opt to study in different private universities in Bangladesh.

He also stated that there may be cooperation between government and private sectors in IT & ICT areas. 

The State Minister sought support of the Eswatinian government for repatriation of the displaced Rohingya people to their homeland as well as in favour of different Bangladesh candidature at the UN.

The MoU between Bangladesh and Eswatini on Establishment of Comprehensive Consultation Mechanism and the Memorandum of Agreement on Contract Farming and Agricultural Cooperation were signed by Md. Shahriar Alam and his counterpart Ms. Thulisile Dladla.

During the talks, both sides discussed possibilities of establishing contract farming by Bangladeshi entrepreneurs in Eswatini and agreed to work on the matter.

Both sides also agreed to explore possibilities of cooperation in agro-processed and food industries. 

After signature of the Memorandum of Agreement, Mr. Jabulani Mabuza, the Minister of Agriculture of Eswatini remarked that agriculture is one major potential area of cooperation between Eswatini and Bangladesh.

He said that a delegation from the Eswatinian Agriculture Ministry may visit Bangladesh to share knowledge in the agriculture sector. He invited Bangladeshi agricultural farms to establish contract farming in Eswatini.

The Eswatinian side showed interest in sharing knowledge in agricultural production, agro-commercialization as well as agro-research and extension areas with Bangladesh.

The State Minister is due to meet with the Eswatinian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Minister of Health and Minister of Agriculture tomorrow.

He will also meet with the investment development authority and trade bodies there and visit the Royal Eswatini Technology Park.

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