British High Commissioner Sarah Cooke calls on State Minister Shahriar Alam

July 07, 2023
British High Commissioner Sarah Cooke calls on State Minister Shahriar AlamDhaka, 06 July 2023: The new British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Ms. Sarah Cooke paid her maiden courtesy call on the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam, MP this afternoon at his office. Congratulating the new High Commissioner, the State Minister termed the historic friendly relations between the two countries as true ‘Brit-Bangla Bondhon’ which is based on strong foundations like a large Bangladeshi diaspora in the UK, enhanced trade and investment relations, etc. He thanked the UK government for DFQF market access until 2029 and urged on the need for continuation of the DFQF facilities until 2032 and British investments in startups, services and IT sectors, among others. He appreciated humanitarian and political support of the UK government for the forcibly displaced Rohingyas, temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh. Reform of the existing labour laws, improvement of the labour conditions, green transition, scope of cooperation on climate issues, facilitation of visas for the Bangladeshi students, upcoming national elections, Bangladesh’s candidature to the IMO Secretary-General election, etc. were highlighted by the Hon’ble State Minister. Referring to the newer dimension of aviation cooperation, he hoped for further assistance from the UK in the pursuit of Bangladesh’s becoming an aviation hub. Commenting that Bangladesh-UK relations have transformed from development assistance-driven to a more strategic and economic partnership, the High Commissioner expressed her deep satisfaction over the immense socio-economic progress Bangladesh has achieved. She observed that Bangladesh would be the leading beneficiary of the UK’s new DCTS and hoped that it would help Bangladesh to increase exports and diversify its economy. She expressed the UK’s desire of sharing knowledge, expertise and technology in the aviation sector, deeper engagement and cooperation on climate issues, and political support in different multilateral fora on the Rohingya crisis. She conveyed the desire of some British educational institutions to extend their operation in Dhaka and the possibility of substantial investment by the British Investment International (BII) in Bangladesh. The British High Commissioner requested for Bangladesh’s support to the continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) and hoped for free and fair general elections in Bangladesh.

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