By Md. Kamruzzaman
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Despite the pandemic, top officials from Bangladesh and Turkey have paid mutual visits to each other's countries signaling the start of a new chapter in bilateral relations.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited Bangladesh in December 2020, while his Bangladeshi counterpart A K Abdul Momen toured Turkey twice in the last couple of months.
“Bangladesh is now a lucrative destination for foreign investors as we have developed a very business-friendly environment in the country through various initiatives. Many Turkish investors are now interested in coming to Bangladesh to invest here,” Momen told Anadolu Agency.
On his three-day visit to Turkey which ended earlier this week, Momen attended a roundtable discussion in Ankara on the economic and political relations between Bangladesh and Turkey.
The Bangladeshi foreign minister called on Turkish entrepreneurs and industrialists to invest in his country and assured them of necessary support.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Momen said Dhaka had assured Ankara of a spot in the country’s 100 Special Economic Zones (EPZ).
“Despite the pandemic, the Turkish foreign minister visited Bangladesh and assured us of increasing bilateral trade from $1 billion to $2 billion in the coming years. I have also visited Turkey and hope that not only the bilateral trade volume, but also the cultural ties between Dhaka and Ankara will boost every day,” Momen added.
He also expressed gratitude to Turkey for its tremendous support on the Rohingya crisis and called on Turkey to continue its efforts for peaceful and dignified repatriation of displaced Rohingya to their home country of Myanmar.
During bilateral talks, Cavusoglu announced 100 government-funded scholarships for Bangladeshi students every year.
- Presidential visit
The Bangladeshi foreign minister told Anadolu Agency that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due in Bangladesh next year, but a date has not been decided due to the latest travel concerns over the new omicron variant of coronavirus.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also visit Turkey, Momen added.
- City-to-city collaboration
Dhaka Mayor Atiqul Islam also accompanied the foreign minister on his recent visit to Turkey.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Islam said Turkish mayors expressed an interest to visit Dhaka.
He said mayors of the two countries could exchange best practices of governing mega-cities.