Dhaka, 13 January 2022:
Foreign Minister Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, M.P. spoke over phone today with the Foreign Minister of Singapore Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan. The two Foreign Ministers exchanged greetings of the New Year and discussed the pandemic situation in their respective countries.
During the conversation, Dr. Momen expressed satisfaction over the excellent bilateral relations existing between the two friendly countries, mentioning that Bangladesh considers Singapore as a role model of Economic Development. The two Foreign Ministers agreed on the necessity of exploring synergies in new areas of cooperation for expanded bilateral engagement.
While thankingthe Government of Singapore for providing humanitarian assistance to the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals sheltered in Bangladesh, Foreign Minister Dr. Momensought Singapore’s and ASEAN’s proactive role in bringing a sustainable and permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis by ensuring their urgent return to their homeland in Myanmar.Dr. Vivian assured that Singapore would remain engaged on the issue and of Singapore’s continued support for a durable solution of the crisis.
Dr.Momen notedwith satisfaction Singapore Government’scontinuous support to the Bangladeshi expatriate workers during theongoing COVID 19 pandemic. He further suggested that Singapore may consider employing more of skilled workers from Bangladesh especially in their health and other service sectors.
Dr. Momennoted that Singapore is an important bilateral trade and investment partner of Bangladesh. Applauding the initiative for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Bangladesh and Singapore, he pointed out that FTA would be mutually beneficial by further enhancing the bilateraltrade and investment.The two Foreign Ministers agreed to accelerate the process for concluding the FTAearly.
Dr. Momen took the opportunity to encourage more Singaporean investors to invest in power, telecommunication, renewable energy, power transmission sectors etc. in Bangladesh taking advantage of a very friendlyinvestment regime in the country.
Praising Dr. Balakrishnan’s previous role as Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, Dr. Momen shared the rapid digital transformation of the economy and society in Bangladesh under the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for a ‘Digital Bangladesh’. In this connection, Dr. Momen sought Singaporean cooperation in the area of ICT and digitization, to which Dr. Balakrishnanresponded very positively and assured of full support and assistance.
Referring to the 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 2022, both the Ministers agreed to celebrate the special occasion in a befitting manner in both the countries. Dr. Momen invited his Singaporean counterpart to visit Bangladesh. Dr. Balakrishnan also extended an invitation to Dr. Momen for an official visit to Singapore to kick-start the celebration of the 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
H.E. Mr. Md. Shahriar Alam, MP