Bangladesh will be a “centerpiece” of the United States’ work in the region as it sees the country as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E Biegun said Thursday.
“We’re committed to growing our partnership in this regard to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific. Bangladesh will be a centerpiece of our work in the region,” he said.
During his first visit to Bangladesh, Biegun said he is pleased to be here to celebrate yet the latest chapter of cooperation between the US and Bangladesh, a relationship that dates back decades and has bound the Bangladeshi people and the American people most closely together over the years.
He made the remarks after his “very productive” meeting with Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at State guesthouse Padma.
Biegun also had a lengthy meeting on Wednesday evening with the State Minister for Foreign Affairs and his team members.
The two sides discussed cooperation in combating COVID-19, the impressive results that the government in Bangladesh has achieved, and their work together on producing and rolling out important protective equipment and also medicines in the near future, ultimately with the hope of close coordination and cooperation on the distribution of vaccines once one is found to be safe and reliable.
“The United States looks forward to Bangladesh participating in the upcoming Indo-Pacific Business Forum, an opportunity for us to continue our discussions on economic cooperation on a bilateral and multilateral basis,” said Biegun.
He said Bangladesh places a strong emphasis on the importance of private sector-led growth. “We’ve each appointed a representative to lead our governments’ engagement.”
Biegun informed the Foreign Minister that the United States has granted all approvals for the establishment of a new Bangladeshi Consulate in Miami.
“We look forward to broadening the official diplomatic presence of our Bangladeshi friends to serve the interests of Americans and the large Bangladeshi-American community which is a robust part of American society,” said the US Deputy Secretary of State.
Biegun, who also met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is scheduled to leave for home on Friday morning.
Later, at a roundtable discussion with a select group of journalists, he said currently the relations between Bangladesh and the USA is in “very good shape”.
He said the US private sector has showed their attention to Bangladesh considering its stable economic growth and large number of domestic consumers, not following any geopolitical context.
Biegun said the US was never disinterested in Bangladesh rather it has been continuing its cooperation with Bangladesh for decades since the country’s independence.
The Deputy Secretary of State said the US would like to deepen and improve the growing closeness of cooperation with Bangladesh, especially in the trade and investment fronts.
Source: United News of Bangladesh