Bangladesh, Argentina to strengthen economic ties; MoU on FOC signed

Bangladesh and Argentina want to strengthen the relations on all fronts including a robust trade relation with opening of an Embassy of Argentina in Dhaka soon. Bangladesh and Argentina on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) at State guesthouse Padma. The MoU was signed in presence of Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, by Sabbir Ahmed Chowdhury, Secretary (West), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh and Claudio Javier Rozencwaig, Undersecretary of Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of Argentina. "It is a good and important day for our relations," Caludio told reporters after the signing ceremony. He said they are "actively considering" possibilities of opening an Embassy here. The process I think will finish by next year. We are considering it very actively." The Undersecretary said there are lots of possibilities and it is important to have more exchange and cooperation in commercial area. He said Bangladesh economy has grown significantly over the past decade and Argentina is glad to see Bangladesh’s growing economy. Foreign Secretary Masud Momen said Bangladesh-Argentina relations are very deep and the two countries are celebrating 50 years of relations. "We had a very good meeting." He said they have some plans to strengthen the relationship and to take it forward with more exchanges. PTA with Bangladesh Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives Hugo Gobbi has suggested signing of a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Bangladesh and MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market comprising Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The ambassador said the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations might take a long time whereas PTA takes a much shorter period, according to FBCCI. Claudio Rozencwaig, Undersecretary of Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of Argentina shared the information with FBCCI President Md. Jashim Uddin during a meeting on Monday at a city hotel. Claudio Rozencwaig is leading an Argentine delegation visiting Dhaka and expressed interest in boosting bilateral relations on all fronts, according to FBCCI. He also invited FBCCI to lead a business delegation to Argentina to attend business to business meetings on potential sectors. Federation chief Jashim Uddin stressed on establishing institutional partnership between the private sectors of two countries and proposed signing MoU between FBCCI and counterpart in Argentina to enhance trade engagements. To harness the trade potentials of Bangladesh with Latin America, Jashim Uddin also sought the support of Argentina government to expedite the process of signing FTA between Bangladesh and the MERCOSUR- the Southern Common Market comprising Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The region is equipped with significant dynamic markets and they can source quality products from Bangladesh including processed food, pharmaceuticals, plastic, ceramic, RMG etc at competitive prices, he added. He also invited the investors of Argentina to invest in the Economic Zones of Bangladesh. Franco Agustín Senilliani Melchior, Head of Economic and Trade Section of the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in India said textile is one of the major import items of Argentina which the country sources from other Asian countries. Bangladesh should also consider the country as a potential market for textile and plastic items. Mariano Beheran, Agricultural attaché of Embassy of the Argentine Republic in India cited that Argentina can provide agriculture technology and know-how support including seed technology to increase Bangladesh’s capability in the sector. He also suggested that Bangladesh can import cotton, milk powder and garlic from Argentina. Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury, Secretary (West), Nayem Uddin Ahmed, Director General (Americas), Tarique Mahmud Pasha, Assistant Secretary (Americas) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bangladesh also joined the meeting. They proposed collaboration in renewable energy between Bangladesh and Argentina. Md. Amin Helaly, Vice-President of FBCCI, Abul Kasem khan and Amzad Hussain, Directors of FBCCI, Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, Secretary General of FBCCI were also present at the meeting. A Jubo League leader was hacked to death allegedly by some miscreants in Jashore town Tuesday noon, said police. The deceased was Badiuzzaman Dhani, 42, senior vice president of Jashore District Jubo Dal. Some miscreants hacked Dhani indiscriminately at Chopdar Para in Shankarpur around 12pm and fled the scene, leaving him seriously injured, said Tajul Islam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Kotwali police station. Later, he was rushed to Jashore General Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, he added. No one has been arrested in this connection yet, said the OC.