Bangladesh, UK to begin 'new strategic partnership’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 19, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 19, 2008

Fakhruddin-Brown Meet

Bangladesh, UK to begin 'new strategic partnership’

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have agreed that Bangladesh and Britain would enter into a new strategic partnership based on shared values and vibrant economic ties.
The agreement came during talks between the two leaders at 10 Downing Street, the British PM's official residence in London, yesterday afternoon.
A release received from Bangladesh High Commission here last night said Ahmed and Brown noted that in present times both the countries “needed each other”.
Brown said the British people hold Bangladesh and Bangladeshis with “great affection”.
The CA noted that Bangladesh too considers the UK as a “dependable friend and partner” and attaches great importance to the intellectual, trade and investment links between the two Commonwealth nations.
The meeting covered a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues, including bilateral trade and investment, development cooperation for attaining Millennium Development Goals, climate change, counter-terrorism, and contribution of the Bangladeshi Diaspora towards strengthening the vibrant relations between the two countries.
They expressed satisfaction at the robust bilateral trade and investment relationship and agreed to take economic partnership between the two countries to a higher level.
Fakhruddin expressed hope that British investment would continue to grow in Bangladesh and that Britain would play a leading role in the G8 and in multilateral trade negotiations to secure duty-free market access for LDCs.
He highlighted the climate change challenge uniquely faced by Bangladesh due to global warming and sea level rise.
Prime Minister Brown praised Fakhruddin for his personal initiatives in voicing the climate change concerns of vulnerable countries and assured that Britain would continue to work closely with Bangladesh bilaterally and internationally to secure an effective response to combat climate change.
He announced his country will hold a climate change investment conference for Bangladesh in Dhaka and London this year.
The British prime minister also assured the CA that the UK would stand next to the people of Bangladesh in their pursuit of higher standards of education and their aspirations for attaining the MDGs.
Fakhruddin hoped that Britain would continue to support the caretaker government's initiative to set up a Catering Institute in Sylhet for producing skilled chefs from Bangladesh.
He informed about the caretaker government's unequivocal commitment to hold a free, fair and credible election by December 2008.
Gordon Brown assured CA of “continued British support towards elections in Bangladesh”.
Fakhruddin invited Brown to visit Bangladesh to see for himself the home-grown development programmes.

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