Australia – Bangladesh emphasized the need for a strong partnership encompassing all sectors, including people-to-people contacts.

A Ministerial Dialogue between the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Hasan Mahmud and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia Senator the Hon Penny Wong took place at the State Guest House-Padma in Dhaka this evening. The Australian Foreign Minister is paying a 2-day official bilateral visit to Bangladesh which is happening after almost 26 years.

In the meeting, both Ministers discussed the ongoing and prospective collaborations in a wide range of bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues as well as the mutual commitments to peace, prosperity, security, and development. Bangladesh proposed to strengthen collaboration in terms of trade and investment, education, skill development, technology transfer, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, cooperation in agricultural, cultural, and energy sectors, maritime security, climate change, and the Rohingya issues.

HFM thanked Australia for re-establishing the Bangladesh Australia parliamentary group with a membership of 45 MPs and Senators from both the Government and Opposition, reflecting growing interest among Australian politicians in Bangladesh.

He discussed the remarkable progress in trade relations, with trade volume doubling to AUD 4 billion in the past four years. He highlighted the potential to double this figure in the next five years by targeting untapped areas such as cotton, wheat, leather, jute, renewables, pharmaceuticals, light engineering, critical minerals, financial services, and IT.

HFM talked about the potential for increased international student enrolment from Bangladesh due to rising incomes, suggesting ease of student visa processing and extensive campaigning from the Australia side. Bangladesh Universities are taking a keen interest in fostering cooperation with Australian Universities and only in the last year about 11000 Bangladesh students have enrolled in Australian Institutes.

HFM talked about the priority of quality education and human capacity development in Bangladesh. He sought Australia’s cooperation in skill development, proposing a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) partnership with Bangladesh’s Technical Training Centres (TTCs).

He congratulated Australia on hosting the Women’s Asian Cup Football in 2026. He has suggested Australian partnership with Bangladesh to promote women’s sports, such as football and cricket, through training and friendly matches.

HFM admired the Labor Party’s renewed focus on climate change and urged Australia to consider financing locally-led climate projects in Bangladesh as well as transferring green and clean technologies.

He thanked Australia for its continued support of the Rohingya issue. Both the Ministers expressed concern over the lack of progress in repatriating Rohingyas to Myanmar. They discussed the potential for increased violence among the Rohingya community and the regional security concerns this poses.

The Ministers discussed that the Australia-Bangladesh friendship has crossed fifty years. They emphasized the need for a robust partnership encompassing all sectors, including people-to-people contacts. They also highlighted the importance of high-level visits for strengthening mutual understanding and consolidating engagements.


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