Dhaka and Jakarta today vowed to work together in energy, agriculture and health sectors as Bangladesh President Mohammed Shahabuddin had a bilateral meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit here.
“Bangladesh and Indonesia earlier singed three MoUs (memorandum of understanding) on energy and health sectors that created huge opportunity to work for welfare of the two countries,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said in a media briefing after the meeting.
The Bangladesh President is now on a visit to Indonesia to attend the 43rd summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 18th ‘East Asia summit’ at Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) here.
According to Momen, Bangladesh President Mohammed Shahabuddin at the bilateral meeting expressed heartiest thanks to his Indonesian counterpart for inviting him and providing excellent hospitality to the Bangladesh delegation.
The Indonesian President highly appreciated Bangladesh’s development in health sector, especially in the ‘Community Clinic’ concept designed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that gained worldwide appreciation in larger scale.
He also referred to the tremendous development of different socio-economic sectors in Bangladesh.
Mohammed Shahabuddin said Indonesia can import international-standard pharmaceutical products, ceramic and Readymade Garments (RMG) items from Bangladesh.
He as well invited the Indonesian investors to come up with robust investment in Bangladesh due to consistency of its investment-friendly atmosphere for last one decade.
“An initiative is there to ensure a mutual decision to recognize the certificate of the physicians of the two countries,” Dr Momen quoted the President as saying at the bilateral talks.
Mohammed Shahabuddin noted that Bangladesh is setting up as many as 100 Special Economic Zones (SEZs), 39 Hi-Tech Parks and other specialized Economic Zones in the country.
He said, “If Indonesia is interested, Bangladesh would be happy to designate a place in economic zone for it”.
Bangladesh aspires to transform into a manufacturing hub being located at the junction of South Asia and South East Asia and its goal is to be a trillion-dollar economy by the end of this decade, he said.
The Bangladesh President stressed the larger collaboration between the two countries private sectors to avail opportunities of investment.
He encouraged the Indonesian investors and business community to take advantage of the huge opportunity that is prevailing in Bangladesh for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
He also expressed his hope that direct air connectivity between Dhaka and Jakarta or Bali would be established soon and an opportunity will be created to launch shipping between sea ports of two states.
Turning to Rohingya issue, the Bangladesh Head of State sought all-out support from Indonesian government and people to solve it, saying, “Bangladesh sheltered displaced Myanmar nationals due to humanitarian ground”.
The Indonesian President said the issue of Rohingya repatriation was broadly discussed in the ASEAN meetings and also got assurance of providing necessary assistances in this regard.
President Mohammed Shahabuddin sought further cooperation of ASEAN chair and other concerned to ensure the membership of ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partner.
He also expressed satisfaction over the existing bilateral relations between the two countries.
He said Bangladesh highly values its relations with Indonesia as it was one of the first Muslim countries to recognize Bangladesh during its Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s tenure.