British MPs arrive to explore trade opportunities
A five-member British cross-party parliamentary delegation yesterday arrived in Dhaka on a five-day visit to explore the scope for business and investment as well as deepen relationship with Bangladesh.
On the first day of their visit, they held a meeting with Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud and discussed how the Bangladeshi diaspora in the UK can play a role in trade and development of Bangladesh.
"One of the objectives of their visit is to build a close relationship with the Bangladesh parliament," Mahmud told reporters after the meeting at the state guesthouse Padma yesterday.
This is the first parliamentary visit from the UK since the 12th general elections.
The delegation is led by Conservative Party MP Paul Scully, a former parliamentary under-secretary of state for tech and the digital economy.
It also comprises three labour MPs: Virendra Sharma, the vice-chair of Bangladesh All Party Parliamentary Group; Neil Coyle, member of Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons; and Andrew Western.
Dominic Moffitt, senior parliamentary assistant at the House of Commons, Zillur Hussain MBE, chair of ZI Foundation and Ivelina Banyalieva, co-founder of ZI Foundation.
They are also scheduled to meet with Ahsanul Islam, the state minister for commerce, and business leaders followed by visit to a green apparel factory.
The delegation will also be travelling to Sylhet to visit some of leading charities established by the British-Bangladeshis, Tungipara and the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Sharma said Bangladesh has been making significant economic progress.
"We want to make sure that we are partners of Bangladesh in trade, development and peace -- rather than masters."
There are half a million British-Bangladeshis who play a critical role in business and politics and they are eager to contribute to Bangladesh's development, he added.