Hasina keen to strengthen ties with Muslim countries15 January 2020 bdnews24.com
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called on Bangladesh envoys in the Middle East to work towards strengthen ties with Muslim countries.
She made the call at a conference attended by Bangladesh's ambassadors to nine Middle-Eastern countries at Hotel Shangri-La in UAE's Abu Dhabi on Monday.
The prime minister pointed out that misunderstandings can at times derail friendly ties between nations and stressed the need for discussions to resolve it, her Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters.
"She told the ambassadors that we want to live in peace. Those who produce military weapons also create a market for it. It is mostly the people in the Muslim countries who become victims to it. We need to strengthen our ties with the Muslim countries, she said."
Hasina urged the ambassadors to focus on attracting investments to Bangladesh and enhancing the country's export opportunities in the Middle East. She noted that a market for new products can be created by identifying the demand for it in these countries.
"Bangladesh has a strong economy now. Earlier we had to work hard to get loans from donors. We've moved on from that phase and now we have development partners instead of donors."
Hasina highlighted the steps taken by her government to curb violence and terrorism while pledging to continue the crackdown on drugs and corruption.
Hailing the contribution of Bangladeshi migrant workers to the national economy, the Awami League chief said: "We've added new planes to our fleet to which migrant workers make a large contribution, especially those living in the Middle East. We receive the highest amount of remittances from the Middle East."
The Bangladesh leader also warned expatriates about fraudulent middlemen who cheat people of their money through the promise of providing them with a better livelihood abroad.
Hasina called for awareness campaigns among the people against middlemen and urged migrants not to pay more than the amount fixed by the government while going overseas for work.
The Expatriate Welfare Bank has been established with the aim of providing loans to expatriates to run their businesses, said the prime minister.
Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen, Expatriate Welfare Minister Imran Ahmed, Foreign State Minister Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid also attended the event.