UK Dy High Commissioner explores Sylhet

British Deputy High Commissioner Javed Patel has visited eastern Sylhet district and met local officials to discuss opportunities for further shared growth.

The high commissioner said he ended his two-day tour on Tuesday. This was Patel’s first visit to Sylhet since he joined the British High Commission in Dhaka in February 2020. “During his visit, Patel reflected on the long friendship between the UK and Bangladesh and met local officials to discuss opportunities for further shared growth.” On the first day of his visit, he met City Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury.  Besides discussing longstanding people-to people ties, they talked about the UK’s role working with the Sylhet City Corporation and UNDP to alleviate urban poverty.

The programme comprises a range of activities including community mobilization, COVID-19 awareness, nutritional support, and livelihood grants. To date, the programme has helped around 11,000 people currently living in Sylhet. Patel also met the Sylhet Divisional Commissioner Md Mashiur Rahman, and DIG of Sylhet Range Mofiz Uddin Ahammed.

While in Sylhet, he visited the new British Council Office and observed the activities of the UK exam administration. He also visited the Khadimnagar tea estate, the popular tourist spot ‘Jaflong’, and met Immigration and Customs Officers at the Tamabil border post.

Concluding his visit, Deputy High Commissioner Javed Patel said: “I am delighted to visit Sylhet – one of the most beautiful cities in Bangladesh and where the ties between the UK and Bangladesh are as strong as ever.

“Many British-Bangladeshis have direct connections to this city and it’s great to finally experience the culture and traditions for myself. We look forward to celebrating our exceptional bond with Bangladesh, as this wonderful country celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.”

Around 600,000 people of Bangladeshi origin currently live in the UK, with most coming from Sylhet division. The British people give more to the fellow Commonwealth country, Bangladesh, in direct grant donor assistance than any other international partner. The UK is the third biggest bilateral donor overall in Bangladesh.

The UK is Bangladesh’s third single largest export partner. In 2019, Bangladesh exported goods to the UK worth £3.3 billion. The UK is also the second largest cumulative investor in Bangladesh with £1.9 billion of investments. The UK, the second largest donor to the international response to the Rohingya refugee crisis, is providing life-sustaining humanitarian aid to almost a million Rohingya refugees and vulnerable host communities in Cox’s Bazar. Since the last refugee influx in 2017, the UK has contributed close to £300 million.