By Mudassir Raja
The embassy of Bangladesh recently held a reception to celebrate 48th anniversary of Independence and National Day of the country. Qatari dignitaries, ambassadors, members of diplomatic corps, representatives of different business communities as well as members of Bangladeshi community attended the gathering in large numbers.
The prominent guests present were namely; HE Yousef bin Mohammed al-Othman Fakhro, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs; Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan al-Hammadi, Secretary General Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhroo, Director of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Ali Ibrahim Ahmed, Ambassador of Eritrea and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
The reception at Grand Hyatt Hotel started with national anthems of Qatar and Bangladesh. Following the anthems, Ashud Ahmed, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Qatar, highlighted the nature of ties between the two countries in a speech. Qatari dignitaries along with the ambassador also cut the cake to mark the celebrations.
There was a cultural show organised by the embassy for the gathering. A group of talented students from Bangladesh MHM School & College presented what they called the six seasons of the country. The students were flanked by seven teachers, who also participated in the cultural presentation. The students presented six different music and dance performances highlighting six different seasons of Bangladesh. The gathering was also served with traditional Bangladeshi cuisine as they enjoyed the cultural performances.
Earlier in his speech, Ambassador Ahmed said: “My wife and I warmly welcome you at the celebration of the 48th anniversary of the Independence and National Day of Bangladesh. On this auspicious day, I pay my deep homage to our father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other leaders for their struggle to have the independence.
“Bangladesh is still young as a country. This year, we celebrate the 48th anniversary of our independence. By this time, we have achieved a number of accolades that make us feel proud as a nation. Once labelled as ‘a bottomless basket’, Bangladesh is now acclaimed by the international community as a ‘role model for development’ in the world.
Highlighting his country’s achievements, the ambassador said: “Bangladesh is now positioned in the comity of nations as the 36th largest economy and a responsible member of the United Nations. Bangladesh has ranked the second largest global apparel manufacturer, third largest vegetable producer globally, fourth largest rice producer, fourth largest economically active population, fifth largest freshwater fish producer and the ninth best outsourcing hub in Asia. Global pundits see Bangladesh as the 23rd largest economy by 2030, among the ‘next eleven’ emerging economies and ‘frontier five’, and the fast growing sourcing destination.”
About the bilateral ties, he said: “Bangladesh and Qatar have been enjoying excellent bilateral relations, which is deeply rooted in our shared history, culture, values and common faith. Our brotherly relations have grown in depth and dimensions over the years.
“More than 400, 000 Bangladeshi workers have been playing very significant role in further consolidating our bonds and establishing people to people contacts. I believe our workers are contributing towards Qatar’s development ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and implementing its Vision 2030. They are also contributing to the economy of Bangladesh by sending remittances. We welcome the exemplary policy - reforms made by Qatar to ensure the rights of the migrant workers. Qatar has opened two visa centres in Bangladesh. We believe that this will help discipline the migration process and further ensure rights of the workers.
I would like to express my deep appreciation for His Highness the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, His Highness the Father Amir and the Government of Qatar for kindly hosting our workers and for the unqualified support extend to our community and the embassy.
“Trade, investment and tourism are potential areas the two countries are currently looking at for mutual benefit of the two peoples. Bangladesh is importing LNG from Qatar under the long term LNG agreement signed two years ago. The Investment Seminar organised by Bangladesh Forum Qatar last year was a great success. We are looking forward to holding the single country trade fair ‘Made in Bangladesh’ in Doha later this year in collaboration with Bangladesh Forum Qatar, Qatar Chamber, and Qatar Financial Centre.”
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