Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon the European Union (EU) to extend its business facilities (GSP+) for six more years for Bangladesh like developing countries to smoothen its journey towards prosperity after LDC graduation.
“I request the European Union to extend its business facilities for six years instead of three years as Bangladesh like least developed countries (LDCs) have now been under pressure economically due to the Covid-19 pandemic and war,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told a press briefing quoting the Prime Minister.
While briefing newsmen about Bangladesh Prime Minister’s daily engagement in Brussels, he said the extension of business facilities will smoothen the journey of the LDC countries towards prosperity after LDC graduation.
She made the remarks after holding several bilateral talks with European Commission (EC) and European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Parliament leaders.
The Prime Minister, who arrived in Brussels, Belgium on October 24 evening, attended a total of nine events including the opening plenary session of the Global Gateway Forum and other side events including bilateral talks.
Several bilateral talks were held with EC President Ursula von der Leyen, Trade Commissioner and Executive Vice President of EC Valdis Dombrovskis, Commissioner for Crisis Management of the EC Janez Lenarcic, Vice-President of the European Parliament Nicola Beer, European Investment Bank President Dr Werner Hoyer and Commissioner for International Partnerships of the EC Jutta Urpilainen.
During the talks, each and every person met her have highly praised Bangladesh’s unprecedented development under the prudent leadership of Sheikh Hasina, said Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, who was present at the meeting.
Replying to a query, he said that the biggest matter was that the invitation for the Prime Minister to join such a world forum in just two months ahead of the upcoming general election has proved that the world and EU stay beside the Prime Minister.
Bangladesh Prime Minister in reply praised the EU for its role in socio-economic development of Bangladesh.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh Prime Minister has sought larger investments from the EU countries in Bangladesh referring to the most congenial investment atmosphere in Bangladesh.
Rohingyas, climate change and relation issues have come prominently during the meetings with the EU leaders.
But no issues on the upcoming election and the human rights have come for discussion, he said.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh is a role model for establishing human rights, justice, human dignity and democracy as 30 lakhs people sacrificed their lives for the noble cause.
Commissioner for Crisis Management of the EC Janez Lenarcic assured Bangladesh of giving additional EUR 10.5 million for the Rohingyas, Dr Momen said.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh Premier and the EU leaders vowed to elevate the existing 50 years bilateral relations between Bangladesh and EU to elevate to another level.
To this end, the Prime Minister has gave consent to negotiate for signing a partnership agreement with the EU, he said.
Dr Momen said that the Prime Minister today made history after giving her address at the opening plenary session in the Global Gateway Forum conference and all Bangalees should proud of her.
“She (Sheikh Hasina) has become the attraction of the whole event,” she said, adding that claps are being given time and again and all the leaders attended the session rushed to her and praised her for her speech as the Prime Minister appealed to stop the war and arms race in her speech.
To this end, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said,” The focus of the plenary session was Sheikh Hasina. Whole international press rushed to cover Sheikh Hasina”.
He said the speech of Bangladesh Prime Minister was the most touching and most appealing among the speeches given in the opening plenary session of the Global Gateway Forum.
PM’s Principal Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Sharifa Khan were present.