Momen seeks Thai investment in Special Economic Zones
Published: 10:18 PM, 8 October 2020
Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen today sought Thai investment in the Special Economic Zones in Bangladesh where state of the art facilities and one stop services (OSS) are provided.
The foreign minister made the urge as the outgoing ambassador of Thailand to Bangladesh Arunrung Phothong Humphreys paid a farewell call on him at his minister office here, said a press release.
Noting that Thailand is Bangladesh’s trusted friend and partner with which Bangladesh enjoys strong bilateral relations since independence, he said, “Thailand is an advanced economy and a
development hub in the Asia Pacific region. Bangladesh’s foreign policy priority is building physical connectivity and people-to-people contacts with that country”.
Pointing out that both the countries are fellow members of different international organizations including BIMSTEC, Momen said, there are common strategic interests on a wide range of issues such as sustainable development, poverty alleviation, climate change adaptation and disaster management.
Considering the popularity of Thailand as a destination for medical tourism, he said that it would be a win-win situation if Thai entrepreneurs set up joint venture hospitals in Bangladesh.
Foreign minister thanked the Thai envy for arranging the special flights between Dhaka and Bangkok and for responding positively to requests for medical evacuations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Humphreys informed that trade, connectivity, energy and development cooperation were key priorities of her mission in Dhaka.
She also informed the minister that a three-year development programme is in the process of implementation with funding from Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA).
Noting that agro-processing, rural development, environmental protection, women empowerment and human resource development are focus areas of the proposed TICA project, Humphreys said, informing that she would advise her successor to organize senior-level visits between the two countries once the COVID crisis is over.
She noted that Thailand has already a significant investment presence in Bangladesh and expressed the hope that the negotiators of both countries would finalize the draft of the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the two countries would be able to sign it soon.
Momen thanked Thailand for the humanitarian support extended to the Rohingyas and sought a pro-active role from both ASEAN and Thailand on the repatriation issue.
He said that if the 1.1 million Rohingya people are left unattended and not given the opportunity to return to their homeland they would jeopardize regional and international security.
The foreign minister suggested that the ASEAN countries should in a body put pressure on Myanmar so that conducive environment is created in the Rakhine State and the Rohingyas can return home immediately.
Humphreys assured to flag Dhaka’s concerns on the Rohingya issues to the Thai government as well as the ASEAN leadership and expressed that this problem would be resolved soon.
She thanked the Bangladesh foreign minister for the support extended to her mission during her assignment in Dhaka.
Momen sought Thailand’s support on Bangladesh’s candidature for ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partner status.
Later, the Thai envoy also separately called on the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.