Bangladesh, Dhaka (BBN) – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi sees untapped potential in trade and investment with Bangladesh after a bilateral meeting with the South Asian nation’s foreign minister, AH Mahmood Ali, in Dhaka, on Tuesday.
Retno arrived in Dhaka late on Monday following an informal meeting with fellow ASEAN foreign ministers to discuss the dire security situation in Myanmar, which has caused more than 20,000 people from the minority Rohingya Muslim community residing in Rakhine state to flee the country toward Bangladesh, reports
Acknowledging that strong bonds with Bangladesh would be an important factor in containing a refugee crisis in the region, the minister discussed the necessary steps to take in assisting the beleaguered Rohingya, who have taken refuge along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border out of fear of persecution in Rakhine.
She also sought to enhance economic cooperation with the South Asian partner.
Both foreign ministers engaged in talks to increase bilateral trade and investment, with two-way trade last year amounting to a mere US$1.4 billion.
“With a combined market of more than 400 million people, there are still ample opportunities in the economic sector to explore,” Retno said in a press statement after the meeting.
“For this reason, we must be more aggressive in promoting our economic diplomacy in Bangladesh.”
As the current chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for 2016–2017, Retno said that Indonesia also conveyed its appreciation to Bangladesh for its continued support in enhancing cooperation in the Indian Ocean. (dmr)