Former New Zealand PM Sir Jim Bolger Met with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali

Former New Zealand PM

“The support that the Government and people of New Zealand extended to the people of Bangladesh during the 1971 Liberation War should continue to guide our continued efforts to know each other better and forge stronger bilateral relations based on cooperation in different areas,” said Sir Jim Bolger, former New Zealand Prime Minister and Special Envoy of the current Prime Minister during a meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mr. A. H. Mahmood Ali, MP, at the latter’s office this noon.

Sir Bolger is currently on a four-day visit to Bangladesh to deliver a letter from New Zealand Prime Minister Mr. John Key to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He is also on a mission to explore potential areas of bilateral cooperation through consultations with a cross-section of actors.

During his meeting, Sir Bolger sought Bangladesh’s support for New Zealand’s candidature to the UN Security Council for the 2015-16 period. The Bangladesh Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction at the close working relations between Bangladesh and New Zealand in the UN and other international organisations.

The Bangladesh Foreign Minister urged New Zealand to address the trade gap between the two countries in favour of the latter by exporting more quality products from Bangladesh. He thanked New Zealand for recently placing an order for procuring an ocean-going vessel from Bangladesh, and hoped that New Zealand would continue to place more such orders to gain from Bangladesh’s competitive advantage in the sector. The Foreign Minister also suggested greater export of ceramic goods, footwear and artisan products from Bangladesh. He stressed the need for further exploring potential demands in the New Zealand market for additional Bangladeshi products.

Sir Bolger appreciated the contribution of the Bangladesh diaspora in New Zealand. The Bangladesh Foreign Minister requested New Zealand to enhance services and opportunities for Bangladesh professionals and students, including increasing the number of scholarships for them in reputed New Zealand Universities.

The New Zealand Special Envoy also showed interest in learning about Bangladesh’s views on regional cooperation in South Asia and the Commonwealth, among other issues. Foreign Secretary Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque was present during the meeting.

Later, Sir Bolger joined a lunch hosted in his honour by the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Md. Shahriar Alam, MP.

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