Government Policy

Bangladesh eyes blue economy cooperation with Norway; shares draft MoU

Bangladesh and Norway have agreed to work together on achieving oceanrelated targets including fighting marine litter and to collaborate in maritime sector through sustainable development of ocean resources.

The countries will also take initiatives to significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

Bangladesh proposed a MoU on cooperation in the blue economy sector and shared a draft with the Norwegian side in this regard.

Bangladesh and Norway discussed the issues of cooperation at the second political consultations held at State guesthouse Padma.

Bangladesh was represented by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen while Secretary General of Norwegian Foreign Ministry Tore Hattrem represented Norway in the consultations.

Following the signing of the Protocol on Consultations between the Foreign Offices of the two countries in February 2010 the 1st such Consultations took place in Oslo on 28 June 2018.

Two milestone events of Bangladesh namely the 100th Birth Anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the 50th Anniversary of the glorious Independence of Bangladesh will be celebrated in Oslo Norway early next year.

Recalling Norway's early recognition of the independence of Bangladesh on 4 February 1972 and the countrys longstanding support to Bangladeshs development by the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh set the tone for the deliberations between the two sides in the Consultations that covered the entire gamut of BangladeshNorway bilateral relations.

Foreign Secretary Masud Momen elaborated on the yearlong celebrations of the 100th Birth Anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman commencing on 17 March 2020.

The Norwegian Secretary General wished success to the celebrations of Mujib Borsho and both sides remembered the sacrifice and leadership of Father of the Nation for the emancipation of mankind and praised his contribution to upholding international peace and security.

Recognizing the key role of economic cooperation trade and investment in strengthening bilateral relations the two delegations agreed that there was ample room for further increase in bilateral trade and investment.

They encouraged enhanced trade flows in both directions.

The issue of Telenor/Grameen phone where Norwegian government has a substantial share came up for discussion and both sides took note of Bangladesh Supreme Courts recent ruling/order on this issue.

Both sides look forward to a peaceful settlement of the issue.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary appreciated Norwegian Government for extending dutyfree and quotafree access of Bangladeshi products under Norwegian GSP since July 1 2002 and requested to continue the same even after Bangladeshs graduation out of LDCs group in 2024.

Both sides agreed to work on cooperation in the field of skill development entailing development of human resources at various levels with various modalitiesas also mutually beneficial and resultoriented in view of Bangladeshs graduation rapid automation among others in textile sector and disruptive technologies and trends thanks to Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Rohingya crisis was high on the agenda.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary briefed his Norwegian counterpart about the state of play particularly in the context of International Court of Justice (ICJ)s order of January 23 2020 to ensure accountability for atrocities perpetrated on Rohingyas.

Bangladesh side appreciated Norways political and financial support to the cause of the Rohingyas. Secretary General Hattrem reiterated Norways appreciation for Bangladeshs continued generosity in hosting the Rohingyas.

Bangladesh requested for continued and intensified support of Norway to ensure safe dignified and sustainable return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas.

Norway reiterated its support for Annan Commissions recommendations and ICJs provisional measures and called for their full implementation by Myanmar.

Norway currently running for a nonpermanent seat at the UN Security Council vowed to intensify its efforts at the UN to resolve the crisis if elected.

The two sides affirmed their strong commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including Sustainable Development GoalsSDGs.

Further deepening of cooperation between the two countries at the United Nations and other international fora was also agreed upon.

Among other multilateral issues peace building peacekeeping terrorism violent extremism and xenophobia figured prominently in the discussions.

They also exchanged views on evolving contemporary geopolitical issues including Brexit.

Both countries affirmed their support for Global Compact on Migration and efforts to facilitate safe orderly and regular migration.

They also expressed satisfaction with the smooth implementation of NorwayBangladesh Standard Operating Procedures for Identification and Return of Persons without an Authorization to Stay which was signed in June 2018.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Norway (with residence in Stockholm) Md. Nazmul Islam Director General (West Europe and the EU) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andalib Elias and BTRCs Vice Chairman Subrata Roy Maitra among others joined Foreign Secretary Momen on Bangladesh side. Norwegian Ambassador in Bangladesh SidselBleken also participated in the consultations.

The 3rd BangladeshNorway Political Consultations will take place in Oslo Norway at a mutually convenient date.

Source: United News of Bangladesh