President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has a strong passion for his goals to serve the Sri Lankans and to strengthen friendly relations with brotherly countries, the new High Commissioner for Bangladesh to Sri Lanka Tareq Md Ariful Islam said on Wednesday.

The Envoy, who presented his credentials to the President on Monday was speaking to the Daily News on Wednesday about the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka bilateral relations.

The High Commissioner said that President Rajapaksa is dedicated to implementing his goals for the betterment of the people. “He told me that he wants to develop the country’s agriculture sector to emancipate the masses from the present COVID-19 crisis,” High Commissioner Ariful Islam said.

Islam said that such developments from the grassroots level will help villagers improve their livelihoods.

“The President is keen on developing the tourism industry since around three million people are affected by the impact from the decline in the sector,” the diplomat said.

“We are prepared to cooperate with Sri Lanka in fields such as IT, agriculture, higher education, regional cooperation, ship building and also in the exchange of technical know-how between the two countries.” He pointed out that Bangladesh is the second largest country for IT outsourcing and has excelled in large-scale vegetable and rice production.

Trade and investment and maritime cooperation are some of the areas that need further development through bilateral cooperation.

“Bangladesh is a host to some 30,000 Lankan migrant workers who are content with the labour conditions there. They are performing well and we are happy with them,” he added.

High Commissioner Islam, who arrived in Colombo on November 28 assumed duties on December 14 following a period of self-quarantine. Islam, a career diplomat, joined the Bangladesh Foreign Service in 1998.

 

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