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Maldives Vice President due today

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 22 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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Vice President of the Republic of Maldives Faisal Naseem will arrive in Bangladesh on Monday on a two-day official visit to further strengthen cooperation between the two friendly nations.

The areas of cooperation include connectivity, human resources, fisheries, health, tourism and climate change.

Diplomatic sources said the Vice President of Maldives is coming to Bangladesh at a time when the two countries are making smooth progress in their bilateral relations.

During his visit, the Vice President is expected to call on top policymakers of Bangladesh and discuss opportunities for robust maritime and air connectivity between the two countries. Foreign Ministry officials said Faisal Naseem will be accompanied by two ministers and the foreign secretary.

Apart from connectivity, trade cooperation and a host of issues will be discussed, including employment of Bangladeshi workers in the Maldives, Bangladesh's assistance to the Maldives in the field of healthcare, higher education as well as technical education.

The Maldives is the largest labour market for Bangladesh in South Asia. Some 90,000 Bangladeshis work there. Many of them became undocumented and some 10,000 returned home last year.

In another development, the US-Bangla Airlines on November 19 formally launched direct flights to the Maldives. The private airlines will operate flights three times a week for now and plan to raise the number of flights to seven a week.

Dhaka hosted the visit of the Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who paid a two-day visit to Bangladesh on March 17-18 this year, to attend the Golden Jubilee celebration of Independence of Bangladesh and Birth Centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

During his visit, Dhaka and Male signed four deals -- (a) MoU on the Establishment of Joint Commission for Comprehensive Cooperation; (b) MoU on the Establishment of Bilateral Foreign Office Consultations (FOC); (c) MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Fisheries and Pelagic Fishing; and (d) Cultural Exchange Program (CEP) for 2022-25.

Bangladesh has shown interest to enter into a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with the Maldives, within the purview of the WTO provisions. The Maldives side welcomed the proposal and agreed to give positive consideration to the text of the draft PTA shared by Bangladesh.

In February 2021, the Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid also visited Bangladesh

Faisal Naseem is a Maldivian politician who is Vice President of the Maldives, following the election of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on 23 September 2018. He assumed office on 17 November 2018 and succeeded the former Vice President Abdulla Jihad.