An LNG tanker passes boats along the coast of Singapore – Reuters Photo
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has requested his Qatari counterpart Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi to consider an additional supply of LNG to Bangladesh to meet the increasing demand for industrial growth in the country.
Shahriar made the request at the second Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) meeting between Bangladesh and Qatar held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar on Monday.
During the meeting, the Bangladesh side reiterated the invitation to the Emir of Qatar from the President of Bangladesh.
The Qatari side informed that the Emir of Qatar may undertake a visit to Bangladesh next year, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
During the meeting, the two State Ministers signed an agreement on visa waiver for diplomatic, official and special passport holders between Bangladesh and Qatar.
Both sides agreed to sign agreements on avoidance of double taxation, cultural cooperation, collaboration in the legal field, MoU on education, and cooperation on Waqf and Islamic Affairs during the upcoming high-level visit.
During the meeting, two delegations took stock and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues between the two countries.
The issues that came up for discussions included enhanced cooperation in skilled manpower and human resource development, increased business-to-business contact, visa waiver for diplomats and officials between the two countries, collaboration on food security, education and health, energy and power, civil aviation etc.
The State Minister of Bangladesh requested the Qatari side to consider investment in high-tech parks, special economic zones, in construction and energy sectors etc.
The Qatari side requested Bangladesh to send specific proposals in this regard, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He also sought Qatari support for a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis. The Qatari State Minister appreciated the role of the Bangladesh community in the development efforts of Qatar contributing to the economies of both countries.
The state minister appreciated Qatar’s overall preparations for hosting the FIFA World Cup to be held in Doha in November- December 2022.
They also expressed keen interest in recruiting nurses, medical professionals and technicians from Bangladesh. Both sides expressed their resolve to further consolidate the existing bond of friendship and to take them to new heights.
They discussed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of diplomatic ties in 2024 through joint programs including the exchange of high-level visits and the Bangladesh-Qatar Year of Culture.
The state minister briefed on Bangladesh’s recent remarkable progress in socio-economic development, robust economic growth as well as the Government’s efforts to establish Bangladesh as the regional hub of connectivity.
The next round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) will be held in Dhaka in 2023.
The meeting was attended among others by Secretary (West) Shabbir Ahmed Chowdhury, Bangladesh Ambassador to Qatar Md Jashim Uddin and Director Asia Department at Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Soltan Laram.