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Bangladesh, Singapore agree to expedite free trade deal process

Dhaka Tribune - 19 July 2023

Bangladesh, Singapore agree to expedite free trade deal process

The foreign ministers of Bangladesh and Singapore have agreed to accelerate the process of signing a free trade agreement (FTA).

Dr AK Abdul Momen had met his Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan, in Jakarta on the sidelines of a recent Asean meeting, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The two countries agreed to accelerate cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, agriculture, agro-processing industry, health and pharmaceuticals, ICT, connectivity and medical diplomacy.

Momen informed his Singaporean counterpart of Bangladesh’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and High-Tech Parks, which might be lucrative options for Singapore to invest in.

He also requested Singapore import state-of-the-art pharmaceuticals from Bangladesh.

Both ministers discussed issues of mutual interest, reasserting their commitment to further strengthening the excellent bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and exploring avenues of further engagements and cooperation in the coming days.

Momen shared the concerns of Bangladesh on the issue of Rohingyas and urged more coordinated and proactive support of Singapore to create a congenial atmosphere for an early, safe and dignified repatriation of the more than 1.2 million Myanmar nationals from Bangladesh.

He also sought Singapore’s support for Bangladesh’s candidacy for the post of secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the term 2024-27.

The foreign minister sought the support of Singapore in expediting Bangladesh’s bid to be a sectoral dialogue partner (SDP) of Asean. Singapore assured Bangladesh of extending full support in the latter’s endeavour.

They concluded the meeting "with a positive note to collaborate and share experiences toward a more efficient partnership between the two countries in the days ahead."

 source: Dhaka Tribune