Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Md Shahriar Alam, on Thursday urged Portugal to support Bangladesh’s bid for an GSP+ installation beyond 2029 under the EU’s new GSP regulation.
Portugal’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Francisco André, called Bangladesh the best success story for the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) program for LDCs, and assured that the preferences Bangladesh’s continued trade in the EU market would be duly taken into account.
Bangladesh and Portugal held the second political consultation at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday evening.
Minister of State Shahriar Alam led the Bangladeshi side while the Portuguese side was led by his Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
The Minister of State recalled his last visit to Portugal earlier this year.
He observed that while Bangladesh and Portugal have a relationship that dates back more than 500 years, official interactions between the two governments in recent times have remained weak.
Alam thanked the Portuguese Secretary of State for following through on his commitment to visit Bangladesh to advance bilateral relations.
The Portuguese Secretary of State appreciated the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh in the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon in June 2022.
He also acknowledged the valuable contributions of the Bangladeshi community in Portugal and assured that his government would take appropriate measures over the next two years to address the consular issues faced by Bangladeshi expatriates.
The two parties have also agreed to cooperate on a permanent structure of a Shaheed Minar at an appropriate location in Lisbon with a view to making the Bangladeshi community feel more culturally integrated.
Both sides stressed the need to strengthen interactions between businessmen to foster economic ties.
The two countries reaffirmed their interest in concluding an agreement to avoid double taxation soon.
The Portuguese Secretary of State expressed his interest in sharing know-how and investing in renewable energies, in particular in the production of offshore wind energy.
State Minister Alam welcomed the proposal and invited experts to connect off-grid solar power to the national grid in Bangladesh.
The two parties also agreed to advance the ongoing initiative to establish direct sea links between interested ports.
The two officials exchanged views on climate change issues, including the COP27 agenda on loss and damage.
Bangladesh’s Minister of State thanked Portugal for its principled support for climate justice for vulnerable countries.
The Portuguese Secretary of State called on Bangladesh to maintain its role as a champion of climate action and ocean protection.
The two sides agreed to conclude the draft agreement on cultural cooperation in the near future.
They expressed their satisfaction with the recently concluded memorandum of understanding on the teaching of the Portuguese language at the Institute of Modern Languages of the University of Dhaka.
The two officials also exchanged views on the situation in Myanmar and Afghanistan.
The Portuguese Secretary of State stressed that the Rohingya crisis cannot remain a challenge for Bangladesh alone and that all affected countries in the region must work together to find a lasting solution.
Both parties reiterated their common concern for an immediate end to the armed conflict in Ukraine.
They agreed to defend multilateralism and discussed possible support for each other’s candidacies in various international forums.
Secretary of State André is currently on a three-day visit to Bangladesh.
He expressed interest in planning ahead to observe the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2024.