State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has expressed keen interest to sign a free trade agreement with Mercosur trade bloc to tap the under-exploited South American market.
A letter of intent has already been submitted to secure greater access for Bangladeshi products to a market of 300 million consumers across the economic and political bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The state minister conveyed this interest when new non-resident Argentine Ambassador Daniel Chuburu (based in New Delhi) called on him yesterday.
The ambassador, whose country is the current president of this trade bloc, promised full cooperation. He emphasised the need to promote overall trade between the two countries.
In this context, he proposed holding a regional workshop or seminar on agriculture and agro-business in Dhaka sometime soon to promote better cooperation and share Argentine skills and expertise.
The ambassador opined that such cooperation would play a big hole in ensuring food security, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The state minister gratefully recalled Argentine writer and critic Victoria Ocampo's commendable role in support of Bangladesh's Liberation War that led and inspired the intelligentsia in Argentina and beyond to protest atrocities inflicted on Bangladeshi people by the Pakistani occupation army and their local collaborators.
The state minister also sought Argentina's support for Bangladesh's candidature for the post of deputy director general of the International Organization for Migration. The ambassador promised to give it due consideration.
Alam also expressed his interest to bring Argentine football team to Dhaka in 2021 for a match marking the centennial birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The ambassador presented his credentials to President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban in Dhaka on Wednesday.