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Dhaka, Minsk agree to deeper economic cooperation

DHAKA, April 20, 2017 (BSS) - Bangladesh and Belarus have agreed that deeper economic cooperation should get the main focus for further expansion of bilateral trade.

During bilateral talks at the Belarusian capital of Minsk on Wednesday, the two countries also agreed to work together to lead their respective regions in connecting and integrating trade, economy and culture, according to a message received here today.

"Belarus identifies Bangladesh as a promising priority country with sustained high economic growth as it redesigned its foreign policy with more focus on the emerging economies of Asia," said Belarusian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Valentin Rybakob during talks with visiting Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam.

Alam sought Belarus support for "duty free-quota free" access of Bangladeshi products to the Eurasian Economic Union and emphasized on frequent contacts between the trade bodies of both countries.

Rybakob mentioned about the delivery of Road-Construction Equipments by the Belarusian Company AMKODOR to the Local Government Division of Bangladesh under US$ 50 million Export Commodity Credit rendered through Promagroleasing (Belarusian Bank for International Development).

Appreciating the concessional loan-based economic cooperation, Alam said the Belarusian Minister of Industries will inaugurate the Joint Venture of Amkodor-Polash Service Center at Amkodor-Polash Industrial Zone, Narshingdi next week.

"Such joint ventures would ensure transfer of technology and commence manufacturing of small and light engineering equipments as it has potentials to have much wider impacts on the growing bilateral economic cooperation between our two countries," he said.

Noting the educational excellence of Belarus, Alam emphasized on more cooperation on science, technology and innovation to take the advantage of talented young population of Bangladesh and requested his Belarusian counterpart to provide more scholarships for Bangladeshi students in Belarusian universities and technological institutions.

Earlier, the state minister visited the Council of the Republic National Assembly (Parliament) and met with Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Security Professor Dr. Sergey Rakhmaanov.

State Minister Alam briefed Dr. Rakhmanov about the growing role of Bangladesh in balancing the regional stability under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in line with the key foreign policy mantra "friendship to all, malice to none", as stipulated by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The state minister led a seven-member Bangladesh business delegation at a Business Conference held at the Belarusian National Center for Marketing on Tuesday.

The Belarusian business delegations expressed their keen interest in trade, agriculture, agricultural machinery, electro-mechanical and power distribution equipments, road construction equipments and Potash fertilizer.

During his visit, State Minister Alam visited the Khatyn Memorial, 54 km away from the capital Minsk, to pay tributes by placing floral wreath in memory of the almost 3 million Belarusians who died during the Great Patriotic War (WW II: 1941-1945).