Canberra, Australia (BBN)-The first Foreign Office Consultation between Bangladesh and Australia was held on 31 March 2016 in Canberra.
The day began with a one-on meeting between Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque and Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Peter Varghese.
The two sides discussed some of the most critical bilateral issues between the two countries.
Mentionable, Bangladesh and Australia signed the MOU on bilateral Foreign Office Consultation today.
The FOC commenced with briefing on the recent developments in political and economic development from each side.
Deputy Secretary Ric Wells highlighted the Australian priorities for security and development while Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque outlined the development priorities of Bangladesh Government in line with the Vision 2021 as has been stipulated by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Australian side registered its deep appreciation for the remarkable achievements of Bangladesh in social sector and for her sustained job-oriented economic growth.
In the issues related to Security, the two sides discussed (a) border protection and migration; (b) creating employment opportunities for Bangladesh workforce; (c) aviation security; (d) cooperation on counter terrorism; and (e) cooperation between home offices and in the police sector, particularly in matters related to shared training facilities and resources, exchange of information and ideas.
Under the broad category of trade and investment the areas discussed in detail included, (a) enhancing trade and investment; (b) easing access and more import for Ready Made Garments (RMG) and Knitwear; (c) energy and resources; (d) agriculture; (e) investment and business climate; (f) Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection (BIPPA).
Marked emphasis was placed on transfer and acclimatization of technology, ensuring and supporting ecologically sustainable business practices, operations and produces, and creation and sharing of superior brand equity.
Discussion on Human Resource Development cooperation included, (a) education and sports; (b) cooperation in art, culture and heritage; (c) creating a framework of cooperation for transferring skills, training and education for advanced technology, productive capabilities and innovation.
Development and evolutionary tendencies in the regional security dynamics and cooperation between the two countries in matters related to the UN and the Commonwealth.
The 25-member Australian Delegation, representing the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Commerce, Transport & Architecture, Agriculture, Sports, Defence, Women & Gender, Development Assistance and other relevant organizations was headed by Ric Wells, the Deputy Secretary in charge of the Asia-Pacific in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque led the Bangladesh delegation with members from the Foreign Office, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism.
Later, Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque called on the Secretary, Transport & Architecture Mike Mrdak and discussed issues related to aviation security.