Bangladesh wants to be ASEAN dialogue partner
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has said that Bangladesh wishes to ‘intensify’ political, economic and cultural connectivity to the ASEAN as a ‘dialogue partner’.
Institutionalisation of this relationship will not only make a bridge between the two historical regions, will also foster investment, trade flow and cultural exchanges, he said on Monday.
Ali was speaking at the 3rd ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ‘Flag Raising Ceremony’ held at the Indonesian Embassy in Dhaka.
Bangladesh being a South Asian country is not the member of the ASEAN.
However, an ASEAN Dhaka Committee (ADC) was established in September 2013 after approval by the ASEAN Secretariat.
The Committee organised the Ceremony to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN on Aug 8, 1967.
The foreign minister said no doubt the ASEAN is the most successful regional grouping in the developing world.
ASEAN’s economic potential is undoubtedly impressive and it has turned itself in to a major global hub of manufacturing and trade, as well as one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world.
As the region seeks to deepen its ties and capture an even greater share of world trade, it is time to create a bridge between South and South East Asia to ensure shared prosperity of the two regions, the foreign minister said.
In fact Bangladesh is the last frontier of the South Asian region interfacing with the ASEAN region beginning with Myanmar.
He said it had been a major foreign policy aspiration of the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to intensify Bangladesh’s political, economic and cultural connectivity with the ASEAN countries.
As a key member of SAARC and BIMSTEC, Bangladesh’s greater engagement with ASEAN neighbours would provide a valuable hub to improve regional connectivity and help build trade between South and South East Asia, he said.
There also exists a commonality of security interests between Bangladesh and ASEAN countries. Bangladesh’s growing economy and geographical location makes it a natural candidate for partnership with ASEAN.
The Dhaka Committee also reiterated that Bangladesh is a a close friend of ASEAN and would continue to constructively engage with in many dimensions, as well as the recognition of the ever increasing people-to-people contact.
Indonesian Ambassador Iwan Wiranata-Atmadja, Malaysian High Commissioner Nur Ashikin Mohd Taib, Myanmar Ambassador Myo Myint Than, Philippines Ambassador Vicente Vivencio Bandillo, Thailand Ambassador Suwannapongse, Vietnam Ambassador Nguyen Quang Thuc, Acting High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam Siti Relawati Md Idris, Consul of the Republic of Singapore Darryl Lau, and diplomats from ASEAN member countries were present at the ceremony.