Thursday, 20 January, 2022

Bangladesh-Singapore Trade

Foreign ministers agree to expedite FTA process

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 14 January, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Foreign ministers agree to expedite FTA process

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Bangladesh and Singapore will sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for mutual benefits and enhancing bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.

In a telephone conversation on Thursday, the foreign ministers of Bangladesh and Singapore discussed the FTA issue and agreed to accelerate the process for concluding the free trade deal early.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen spoke over phone with his Singaporean counterpart Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan.

Momen noted that Singapore is an important bilateral trade and investment partner of Bangladesh.

 Applauding the initiative for a FTA between the two countries, he pointed out that the deal would be mutually beneficial through further enhancing bilateral trade and investment.

During the conversation, the Bangladesh foreign minister expressed his satisfaction over the excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two friendly nations.

He mentioned that that Bangladesh considers Singapore as a role model of economic development.

Both foreign ministers agreed on the necessity of exploring synergies in new areas of cooperation for expanded bilateral engagement.

Momen invited more Singaporean investments in power, telecommunication, renewable energy, power transmission sectors etc. in Bangladesh.

He said the investors can take the advantage of a very friendly investment regime in the country.

Momen praised Dr. Balakrishnan’s previous role as minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative.

During the conversation, foreign minister shared the rapid digital transformation of the economy and society under the “Digital Bangladesh” vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Momen sought Singapore’s cooperation in the area of ICT and digitization.

Balakrishnan responded very positively and assured of full support and assistance in digitalisation of Bangladesh.

Momen thanked the government of Singapore for providing humanitarian assistance to the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals sheltered in Bangladesh.

He sought 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. Balakrishnan assured that Singapore would remain engaged on the issue and extend continued support for a durable solution of the crisis. Momen thanked for Singapore government’s continuous support to the Bangladeshi expatriate workers during the ongoing 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.

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 countries.

 Momen invited his Singaporean counterpart to visit Bangladesh.

Dr. Balakrishnan also extended an invitation to Momen for an official visit to Singapore to kick-start the celebration of the 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Earlier in the discussion, the two foreign ministers exchanged greetings of the New Year and discussed the pandemic situation in their respective countries.