Foreign Minister of Estonia Sven Mikser, accompanied by the senior officials of his Ministry, is visiting Bangladesh from 09-11 September 2018. The visit of the Estonian Foreign Minister is the first high level visit taking place between the two countries.
Mr. Mikser called on the Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP at the State Guest House Padma this afternoon. Both the Foreign Ministers held cordial discussions on various aspects of bilateral ties as well as important regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. Mr. Mikser expressed his happiness to visit Bangladesh and hoped that this visit would commence the consolidation of bilateral relations between the two countries. He informed Foreign Minister Ali of the capacity and expertise Estonia has achieved and can offer, particularly in IT and ICT Sector. He said that Estonia is the most digitally connected country in the world and their government has implemented e-government system in every sector including education, banking, security, land management, taxation, health care etc. He offered sharing of Estonian expertise in e-governance and digitalization both with the government and private sector. He expressed interest in market development in the digital sector in Bangladesh.
On international and regional cooperation, Foreign Minister Mikser expressed gratitude for Bangladesh’s support toward Estonia’s maiden bid for the non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council. He hoped that two countries would continue to enhance cooperation and contacts on issues of mutual interest. He noted that Bangladesh is an active member in and a significant contributor to the UN system and praised Bangladesh’s role in global peace keeping through UN peace keeping missions. He referred to Bangladesh’s efforts in the sphere of international peace and security.
Finally, he expressed his high appreciation for the warmth of hospitality extended by the Government of Bangladesh, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and thanked Foreign Minister Ali for his time.
Foreign Minister Ali officially welcomed Foreign Minister of Estonia and noted that he was happy the way relationship between Bangladesh and Estonia was unfolding. He expressed confidence that Bangladesh and Estonia would work closely on issues of mutual interest bilaterally as well as issues of global concern such as climate change, human rights, global security, peaceful resolution of conflicts, poverty alleviation, women empowerment etc. He welcomed the Estonian offer to share their expertise in e-governance and digital market place and welcomed the Estonian entrepreneurs and investors for digitalization process and digital market development in Bangladesh. He referred to the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ campaign under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and noted that Estonia would be a good partner in Bangladesh’s effort to transform the country into a developed state by 2041.
He informed the Foreign Minister of Estonia of the Rohingya issue and said that currently Bangladesh is hosting about 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingya Muslims who have been subject to violence and severe atrocity in the Rakhaine State of Myanmar. He mentioned that Rohingyas are a composite group of people of Myanmar and Bangladesh wants to send these huge population of Rohingyas in safe and secured manner. He informed Minister Mikser of his recent visit to Rakhaine to see the essential conditions for safe and secure repatriation of these persecuted people. Foreign Minister Mikser highly appreciated the great hospitality extended by the Government of Bangladesh to give shelter to these Rohingyas and expressed solidarity with Bangladesh on their safe and secure repatriation.
Minister Ali re-confirmed Bangladesh’s support for Estonia’s bid to the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council and wished Estonia success in its effort. He hoped that the two countries would be able to work in multifarious issues of global concern under the UN auspices and its reform process as well.
The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh hosted a luncheon in honour of the Foreign Minister of Estonia and his delegation. Earlier, the Foreign Minister of Estonia met Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology and in the afternoon, he met the Speaker of the Bangladesh Parliament at her high office and the Prime Minister as well as visit the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar in course of his visit to Bangladesh.
Minister Mikser introduced Syed Farhad Ahmad, a renowned IT entrepreneur of Bangladesh as the Honorary Consul of Estonia In Bangladesh and both the interlocutors express high hope that Mr. Ahmad would work as a conduit to promote bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and Estonia.