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Staff Correspondent
Bangladesh on Thursday sought continued support from the European Union (EU) for a smooth transition and sustained graduation as the country is on course to graduate to middle income country (MIC) status.
Both sides looked forward to strengthening the trade and investment relationship in the future.
The issues came up for discussion at the third Bangladesh-EU Diplomatic Consultations held in the city. EU and Bangladesh sides were led respectively by Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, EU External Action Service Gunnar Wiegand and Bangladesh Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque.
Both sides recognized that the nature of the development relationship will evolve as Bangladesh moves towards middle income country.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen and broaden their partnership for peace, stability, and sustainable development, based on the principles of mutual respect, trust, equality and mutual benefit.
The agenda included political developments on both sides -Brexit, trade and investment – including Everything But Arms, Strategy for Post-LDC Bangladesh relations with the EU, and other issues of bilateral importance.
Matters of regional and global interest where the EU and Bangladesh can intensify collaboration were also discussed, such as Rohingya crisis, connectivity, migration, peace and security, terrorism, Agenda 2030, according to Foreign Ministry here.
The two sides affirmed their strong commitment to the implementation of the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They also agreed to encourage a transition to a broader relationship between Bangladesh and the EU, underpinned by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The EU agreed to organize, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNDP, a Conference on SDGs implementation in early 2019.
Both sides agreed that trade is an important tool in tackling poverty, and that increasing bilateral trade would bring significant benefits to both sides.
Bangladesh appreciated sustained commitment from the EU to continue to provide tariff-free market access for Bangladeshi goods to the EU market, under the Everything But Arms (EBA) regime.
Both sides stressed their strong support for open, transparent and rules-based international system and agreed to enhance cooperation and consultation in the United Nations and other multilateral fora.
The EU briefed on political developments in Europe, including BREXIT negotiations while Bangladesh briefed on political developments, including the upcoming general elections to be held at the end of 2018.
The EU congratulated Bangladesh for being on course to graduate to middle income country status.