The State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam, MP joined bilateral talks with the Foreign Minister of Botswana Mr. Lemogang Kwape in Gaborone. The State Minister is on a two-day visit to Botswana marking the first official bilateral visit from the Foreign Ministry. Bangladesh High Commissioner accredited to Botswana and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were present in the meeting.
The Botswana Foreign Minister welcomed the first-ever Foreign Ministry delegation to Botswana and termed the visit as symbolic of the mutual desire to strengthen the relations. He commented that the visit offers the possibility of exchanging views on different areas of cooperation and termed the visit as an opportunity to leverage the contacts between the Foreign Ministry officials and share the development experience by both sides. He also remarked that Botswana and Bangladesh may share experience in economic areas and identify concrete areas of cooperation. Commending the remarkable economic development of Bangladesh he stated that both sides are cooperating with each other at international platforms like the UN and Commonwealth and supporting each other at the bodies. He also expressed the desire to visit Bangladesh in the near future.
The State Minister expressed happiness over the first-ever Foreign Ministry delegation visit to Botswana. He reaffirmed Bangladesh’s keen interest to develop relations with Botswana. Apprising Botswana delegation about the tremendous socio-economic development that has taken place in Bangladesh during the last decade, Shahriar Alam stated that Bangladesh aspired to become a prosperous nation by 2041 and is on satisfactory track. He narrated Bangladesh’s achievements in climate adaptation, mitigation, women empowerment, and MDGs areas as well as its sustained efforts made to achieve the targets of SDGs. Referring to the excellent bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Botswana both at bilateral and multilateral levels, he sought the support of the Botswana government at the UN elections where Bangladesh has floated candidature. The State Minister said that Bangladesh would be happy to share its knowledge with Botswana in agriculture and textile sectors where it has comparative advantage. He underlined that both sides may forge cooperation in food safety and food security areas and proposed that Bangladesh may establish contract farming in Botswana for the mutual benefit of the two countries as Botswana has plenty of uncultivated lands.
Both sides agreed to celebrate the completion of 50 years of diplomatic relations by organizing different programs in Gaborone and in Dhaka. At the end of the discussions, both Ministers signed an Agreement on Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports. The MoU on Bilateral Political Consultations was also signed by the Ministers.