Selaković: Five decades of diplomatic relations with Bangladesh are a solid pledge for future cooperation

26. May 2022.
Today, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Nikola Selaković stated that five decades since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Serbia and the People's Republic of Bangladesh were a solid pledge for future cooperation between the two countries. Summing up his two-day visit to Bangladesh, which he assessed as historic, Minister Selaković stated that he had the opportunity to meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Abdul Momen, Speaker of the Parliament Shirin Chaudhury, and the representatives of a very large business community of Bangladesh.

“The two countries have a history of relations that began 50 years ago when Yugoslavia was one of the promoters of the newly established statehood of Bangladesh, the one who introduced Bangladesh into the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement. That legacy from half a century ago is a solid pledge for the future cooperation between Serbia and Bangladesh. I can proudly say that I have seen that Serbia`s friends in Bangladesh have the desire, the will, and the enthusiasm to deepen all type of cooperation with Serbia”, Minister Selaković said.

Minister Selaković added that he had signed two important documents with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh ― an agreement on the abolition of visas for diplomatic and official passport holders, and a memorandum by which the two Foreign Ministries would start holding regular political consultations.

“It is opening of doors, of sorts, to all other types of cooperation. We talked in particular about the need to conclude several cooperation agreements in the field of commerce, i.e. economy”, he explained, specifying that those were the agreements on double taxation avoidance and mutual promotion and protection of investments.

Minister Selaković said that the necessity of concluding an agreement on labour force exchange was also discussed, adding that in the previous few years there had been more and more diligent workers from Bangladesh on construction sites in Serbia and that the hiring companies were quite satisfied with their work. “This type of cooperation also needs to be formalised and legally regulated in an agreement that would provide protection and rights to workers, as well as protection to investors, i.e. the companies that would hire them”, said Minister Selaković. According to him, Bangladesh’s territory was the size of Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina combined, with almost 180 million citizens, making it one of the largest exporters of labour force, the number one country in the world when it comes to textile production, and one of the largest exporters of this type of product worldwide.

Minister Selaković assessed that Bangladesh was a very interesting market for certain types of Serbian products, primarily food products. He noted that he also had the opportunity to talk with the representatives of the Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce about the export of Serbian apples to this huge market.