File photo: An areal view shows a resort island, in the Maldives on December 14, 2009 Reuters
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the cruise between the two countries could start this winter
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said sea cruise services can be introduced between Bangladesh and the Maldives during the winter season.
She made the comment while speaking to the newly-appointed High Commissioner of the Maldives to Bangladesh Shiruzimath Sameer at her official residence in Ganabhaban.
PM’s Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher briefed reporters after the meeting.
At the meeting, the prime minister put emphasis on the need for exchanging experiences and assistance between the two friendly countries in collecting fisheries in the deep sea.
The high commissioner said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) may be signed during the visit of her country’s president to Bangladesh on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of independence.
Sheikh Hasina urged the Bangladeshi nationals residing in Maldives to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Shiruzimath Sameer said her country has already started the vaccination of the laborers as they have been playing a significant role in the socio-economic uplift of the country.
Bangladesh as a destination for higher studies
The high commissioner informed Sheikh Hasina that a number of male students have been studying medical sciences in Bangladesh.
The prime minister said teachers are getting vaccines first and then the students will get the jabs in Bangladesh.
Noting that her government has established engineering universities and colleges, medical colleges, aviation university and maritime university in Bangladesh, she urged the Maldives students to come to Bangladesh in large numbers for study purposes.
‘Invest in agriculture’
Sheikh Hasina urged the businessmen of Maldives to invest in agriculture and agricultural goods, leather and leather goods, ceramic, medicine and information technology sectors alongside fisheries.
Focusing on the success in the agricultural sector, Sheikh Hasina said the agricultural production in Bangladesh has been increasing day by day.
Despite the fact, Bangladesh has to import food as it has to distribute a huge amount of food and face several floods during the Coronavirus pandemic, she added.
Boosting Maldives-Bangladesh bilateral trade
The new Male envoy expressed her country’s desire to boost trade and commerce with Bangladesh. She also sought investment from Bangladesh in a new city being built on Male Island.
Shiruzimath Sameer lauded the prime minister for her visionary leadership alongside her role and initiatives in facing the situation arising out of the coronavirus.
The prime minister said the entire world has been suffering from the Coronavirus pandemic while her government has tried its best to face it.
The High Commissioner of the Maldives expressed her gratitude on behalf of her country as Bangladesh has given donations to the Maldives in a very difficult time.
The issue of Rohingya relocation also came up during the meeting.
Shiruzimath Sameer described the relocation of Rohingyas to Bhashan Char as a good move.
Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million forcible displaced Myanmar nationals. The majority of them came here since the August 2017 crackdown on the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority in the pretext of a ‘clearance operation’.
The Rohingyas are living in cramped camps in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar.
Bangladesh invested millions of dollars to develop the Bhasan Char island and plans to relocate 100,000 Rohingyas there in phases. So far, 8,702 Rohingyas have been taken to the island.
Sheikh Hasina said Rohingyas have been living in Cox’s Bazar in a very inhuman condition where forest and environment were also being destroyed severely.
“We’ve arranged better and modern accommodation for the Rohingyas at Bhashan Char. We’ll develop the entire area,” she was quoted as saying.
PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and PM’s military secretary Major General Naquib Ahmed Chowdhury were present.