As an emerging voice of the Global South, Bangladesh can make a significant contribution to BRICS on several issues and will view Bangladesh’s aspirations very strongly and positively – Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira.

The Foreign Minister of Brazil, Mr. Mauro Vieira, called on Dr. Hasan Mahmud, MP, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, on 7 April 2024, Sunday, at the State Guest House of Jamuna. Earlier this morning, Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, the Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary), extended a warm welcome to the Brazilian Minister, who arrived with a 29-member high-level official and business delegation, at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. This marks the first-ever visit by a Brazilian Foreign Minister to Bangladesh.

During this historic visit, Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud emphasized on the strong relations existing between the two nations, characterized by both commonalities and diversities, without any contentions. He noted that “football” acted as a unifying factor between the two countries, bridging their peoples closer together. He expressed hope that this enduring bond reflected in Bangladesh’s widespread support for the Brazilian football team, would extend to other areas of cooperation as well.

Both Ministers expressed satisfaction with the current state of bilateral relations and voiced optimism that ties would continue to strengthen and further diversify in the future. They discussed various aspects of bilateral relations, including promotion of trade and investment, agriculture, education, livestock (including poultry), sustainable energy, climate change, sports, and culture.

Addressing the significant trade imbalance favoring Brazil, the Bangladeshi Minister urged Brazilian businessmen and entrepreneurs to increase imports of Ready-made Garments (RMG), Pharmaceuticals, jute & jute products, and leather and footwear from Bangladesh to off-set the trade imbalance. He also encouraged Brazilian investors to explore opportunities in Bangladesh’s Economic Zones, Special Economic Zones, and High-tech Parks. Foreign Minister also emphasized the importance of securing duty-free access for Bangladesh’s Ready-Made Garment (RMG) products, manufactured using cotton imported from Brazil, and advocated for the removal of anti-dumping duties on Bangladeshi jute and jute products, as well as reducing the 30-35% duty on our RMG products. He emphasized Bangladesh’s strong interest in gaining experience and expertise from Brazil’s extensive experience in deep-sea fishing.

On the question of joining BRICS, Brazilian Foreign Minister affirmed that Bangladesh, as an emerging voice of the Global South, could offer substantial contributions to BRICS on a number of issues and will see Bangladesh’s aspiration very strongly and positively. Bangladesh – MERCOSUR FTA/PTA were also featured during the discussion. Dr. Hasan expressed gratitude to his Brazilian counterpart, being the current Chair, for inviting Bangladesh to participate in three working group meetings under the auspices of G20.

Both Ministers expressed satisfaction with the signing of a Technical Cooperation Agreement between Bangladesh and Brazil, which aims to enhance business opportunities and promote private sector engagement, contributing significantly to South-South Cooperation. They also looked forward to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Sports Cooperation at a later date.

Among other issues, Bangladesh’s generous hosting of 1.2 million Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (Rohingya) and the need for greater role of international community to ensure their safe, voluntary and dignified return to their land of origin – Myanmar, as well as pressing global issues including climate change were at the core of the discussion. The proactive role of Bangladesh in combating the challenges of climate change was appreciated by the Brazilian leader. He looked towards future collaborations in facing this global challenge.

Leave a Reply

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