Outgoing Ambassador of Switzerland Christian Martin Fotsch paid a farewell courtesy call on Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali MP at the State Guest House, Padma [yesterday evening]. Ambassador Fotsch expressed gratitude for extending cordial cooperation by the Foreign Minister’s team during his stay in Dhaka. He also thanked Foreign Minister Ali for exchange of letters with his Swiss counterpart commemorating the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in March.
Recalling his joining (on 04 February 2014) as the Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh in the midst of the post-election turbulent political time, the outgoing Swiss Ambassador conveyed that he “feels very safe now”, particularly after the stringent security measures taken by the Government in the wake of 1st July (2016) Gulshan café incident. Bangladesh Foreign Minister said that security for diplomats and foreign nationals are in order now and government remains very vigilant to prevent any recurrence of such incidence.
Foreign Minister Ali expressed satisfaction about the successful visit of Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Davos (Switzerland) in January 2017 to attend the World Economic Forum.
While briefing the Bangladesh Foreign Minister about highlights of his tenure Ambassador Fotsch expressed satisfaction that both countries ‘do not have much issue’ between them. Back-to-back Political Consultations in Dhaka (March 2015) and in Berne (May, 2017) contributed significantly to have better understanding and exchange between the two Foreign Ministries. Intensified cooperation on climate change (under Nansen Initiative) and migration (e.g., during the 9th Global Forum on Migration and Development that took place in Bangladesh in December 2016), both bilaterally as well as multilaterally, were two major thematic areas those got high priority during his tenure, he noted. He also congratulated Bangladesh for successful hosting of the 36th IPU Assembly in Dhaka early this year, where a 5-member strong Swiss delegation participated.
The Ambassador further briefed Foreign Minister Ali about sustained growth in bilateral trade (16% in 2016) and investment. He also informed that the Spain-based Swiss company Stadler Rail Valencia SAU was awarded a bid to supply Bangladesh Railway with 70 locomotives to further improve its services. SMEs and IT are two key areas that deserve more attention for growth in bilateral economic relations, the Ambassador observed.
Foreign Minister Ali congratulated the outgoing ambassador for successful completion of his tenure in Dhaka and wishes success for his next assignment (in Luxemburg).