Saudi Foreign Minister attends 20th Doha Forum
March 26, 2022 marks the 52nd Independence Day and National Day of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
On this auspicious occasion, I convey my sincere congratulations and warm greetings to our respected members of the Bangladeshi community living in Saudi Arabia.
On this momentous occasion, I respectfully remember our Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, under whose careful and unprecedented leadership we achieved independence in 1971 through a nine-month war of liberation.
I also pay tribute to all valiant freedom fighters for their supreme sacrifices for the independence of our homeland. My deep respect goes to the martyrs of the war of liberation and to all those millions of people who have withstood all the sufferings of this conflict.
I would like to take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia for their wise leadership and contribution to the Muslim Ummah, as well as their visionary leadership in realizing Saudi Vision 2030 saudi.
Bangladesh has enjoyed warm bilateral relations with the Kingdom since the beginning of diplomatic relations in 1975. Last year, we celebrated the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
The excellent relations between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia are attributable to the fact that the two countries share common perspectives on Islamic values, global peace and harmony, and commitment to concerted bilateral cooperation to advance activities. economic and matters of mutual interest.
Our Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, made five official visits to the Kingdom between June 2016 and May 2019. These visits created a new dimension in our bilateral relations. King Salman has described Bangladesh as a “leading Islamic country” when it comes to relations during meetings with the Bangladeshi prime minister in 2016 and 2018.
This year, we held our first political consultation and agreed to further strengthen our bilateral relations. We agreed to build on the achievements of recent productive engagements to establish a future that includes even closer cooperation and understanding between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia at the bilateral and multilateral levels.
We would like to see the peoples of both countries herald a watershed moment in which we will elevate our relationship to new heights in the days ahead, especially in the areas of security, trade, investment, education , health, agriculture, climate change and environmental protection. , as well as the exchange of labor between the two sister countries.
Bangladesh has a winning combination of a competitive market, a business-friendly environment, and a competitive cost structure that can deliver some of the best returns. It is an ideal destination for Saudi entrepreneurs as it has a very dynamic, young and talented Muslim population (nearly 90% of the population is Muslim) and offers attractive incentives.
Prospective investors can explore the huge potential of investment opportunities in various sectors in Bangladesh, such as tourism industry, information technology, shipbuilding, and pharmaceuticals, among others.
In 2021, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Ministry of Investment which allows eligible Saudi companies to invest in suitable public projects in Bangladesh. Already, 20 Saudi companies have expressed interest in investing in Bangladesh and a few proposals have reached the implementation stage.
Bangladesh is now a model for the developing world in terms of poverty reduction, success in health and education, and the fight against climate change, and has received United Nations accolades for His efforts. The country has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, recording growth of more than 7% over the past decade.
Even in the 2020-21 fiscal year, our economic growth was 6.94%, which is the highest growth rate in the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we are self-sufficient in agricultural production.
On February 26, 2021, Bangladesh received the final UN recommendation required for graduation from the category of “least developed country”, after meeting the three criteria necessary to do so.
Today, the country seeks to become a prosperous nation by 2041. It has implemented its 100-year “Delta 2100” plan under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Bangladesh was one of the countries that championed efforts to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and is now working hard to meet the targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals.
For several decades, Bangladesh has responded to the need for workers in several employment streams in the Saudi labor market. The Bangladeshi migrant community has established its longer-term credentials and works with considerable appreciation from the Saudi people. In the process, Bangladeshis are also part of contemporary Saudi economic growth and Bangladesh stands ready to contribute to achieving the economic goals of Saudi Vision 2030.
Bangladesh is a peace-loving country. The country’s foreign policy is based on the motto “Friendship to all, malice to none”, as defined by the father of our nation.
Today, Bangladesh is the largest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping operations in the world. We have been appointed Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission for 2022 and play an active role in peacebuilding efforts in war-torn countries to help preserve international order and protect and promote the interests of all nations.
We have peacefully settled a maritime border dispute with our neighbours, India and Myanmar. We resolved a decades-old land border dispute with India through dialogue.
An epic example of our nation’s humanity, Bangladesh hosted 1.2 million Rohingya refugees fleeing atrocities in Myanmar and engaged in diplomatic discussions with the Myanmar authorities to find a peaceful solution to this crisis.
Bangladesh maintains a policy of “zero tolerance” towards the threat of terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations.
Our country is making rapid progress and will continue its journey to realize our nation’s father’s dream of a “Golden Bengal”. I urge respected members of our community in the Kingdom to redouble their efforts and play their part in realizing this dream.
We should internalize the very essence of our war of liberation and propagate these values to our future generations. Let us take this oath on this happy anniversary of our independence.
Joi Bangla. Long live the Bangladesh-Saudi Arabia relationship.
— Dr. Mohammed Javed Patwary, BPM (Bar Association)
Bangladeshi Ambassador to Saudi Arabia