Bangladesh and Kuwait have agreed to plans to develop a comprehensive roadmap in the next five years to strengthen bilateral cooperation in several sectors, including investment and building an oil refinery.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah discussed the major issues at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said at a media briefing afterwards, reports bdnews24.com.
“It was a fruitful meeting. The Kuwaiti prime minister thinks Bangladesh and Kuwait will develop a roadmap and design actionable programmes in the next five years to strengthen our bilateral ties. He wants to cooperate on various projects as well.”
Momen said the foreign ministers of the two countries will sit for a meeting to chart out details of the roadmap soon.
Noting that five big projects are currently being implemented with finance from Kuwait, Momen said Bangladesh wants to do more and Kuwait is also keen to pursue additional projects.
“Kuwait has planned an initiative to build an oil refinery in Bangladesh and the prime minister agreed to provide them land for the refinery,” Momen added.
Some 20,000 Bangladeshi troops have worked as peacekeepers in Kuwait since the Gulf War. Kuwait expressed its gratitude to Bangladesh for its support during these conflicts.
In this context, State Minister Md Shahriar Alam, who was present at the briefing, said there is a “Bangladesh Contingent” in the Kuwait Army. Bangladeshi soldiers have played a notable role in Kuwaiti efforts to locate and defuse landmines along the border with Iraq.
Earlier in the morning, Hasina joined a reception at the UNHQ where heads of state and government were present and then attended the opening session of the UNGA general debate.
Later, Sheikh Hasina had a meeting with her Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven.
Since Stefan Lofven is known for his work on labour rights, the prime minister told him that Bangladesh has made tremendous development in the labour sector.
She said not a single RMG worker was let go during the COVID-19 pandemic as the government announced stimulus packages for RMG factory owners.
Among the world's top 10 environment-friendly factories, seven industrial units are in Bangladesh, she added, asking the Swedish prime minister to aid the country’s progress in labour rights internationally.