May 22, 2024

BSS, DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today sought Ireland’s support to extend transition period of GSP for Bangladesh in the European Union (EU) market till 2032 instead of 2029 to consolidate its economic growth momentum during the LDC post-graduation period.

The premier sought this support when a high-level Irish delegation, led by Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, paid a courtesy call on her at the latter’s official residence Ganabhaban.

PM’s Speechwriter Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters after the meeting.

“The Prime Minister sought Ireland’s support so the EU would extend the business facilities, particularly the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) for Bangladesh till 2032,” said Nazrul Islam quoting the premier as she saying.

Mentioning Ireland as a close friend and partner of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said that the EU member country has always been beside Bangladesh in different international forums.

She requested Ireland to support Bangladesh in the matter of Bangladesh’s interest in the EU Platform.

The Prime Minister called upon the Irish businessmen to make investments in special economic zones and hi-tech parks of Bangladesh.

Highlighting that Bangladesh is a potential big marketing hub for three to four billion consumers, she said there is huge scope for Ireland’s entrepreneurs to invest in several promising sectors like ICT, pharmaceuticals and agro-based industry of Bangladesh.

In case of the labour issue, Sheikh Hasina said misinformation regarding Bangladesh’s labour issue is spread with ill-motiveness. There’ll be no misunderstanding in this issue if the EU countries directly contact the government of Bangladesh to know about it, she added.

The Irish Minister said that he arrived in the country to strengthen the bilateral relations between Ireland and Bangladesh further.

Mentioning that he is here to formally open Ireland’s first honorary consulate in Dhaka, the Iris Minister said that the office would also help intensify the people-to-people and trade relations between the two countries.

Simon Coveney said that Ireland wants to extend technical support to Bangladesh’s technology and food industry (agro-processing industries).

He said Ireland will continue trying to extend support to Bangladesh for its socio-economic uplift in the United Nations and the EU forums.

Mentioning that a good number of Bangladeshi students are now pursuing their study in Ireland, the visiting minister assured that the European country would welcome a larger number of students from Bangladesh.

About the Rohingya issue, the Irish minister said Ireland will continue its support in this regard.

He, however, suggested intensifying security to Rohingya camps, engaging them in income generating activities and arranging permanent and more developed houses for displaced Rohingya people.

In response, the Bangladesh premier said an adequate number of security members are deployed for Rohingya camps, but killings and other crimes are seen sometimes as there are many internal groups who already engaged in different criminal activities there for their prolong stay here.

She said that there is no instance in the world that permanent houses were constructed for ‘refugees’, but Bangladesh has arranged standard housing for one lakh Rohingyas in Bhashanchar.

“If they want to go there, we can arrange housing for some 4 lakh Rohingya in Bhashanchar,” Sheikh Hasina said.

But, unfortunately the housing project in Bhashanchar is not being successful due to opposition from some international communities, non-government organisations and countries, she observed.

PM’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah and Ambassador of Ireland to India Kevin Kelly and Honorary Consul of Ireland for Bangladesh Masud Jamil Khan were, among others, present at the meeting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *