Bangladesh has sought a “productive partnership” with Portugal and identified trade, connectivity, blue economy, climate action, knowledge sharing, migration and mobility; and people-to-people contact as priority areas.
“Two countries can cooperate meaningfully (in these priority areas),” he said while addressing a seminar jointly organized by “Diplomatic Institute of Portugal” and “Macau Scientific and Cultural Center” on the theme “Exploring Deeper Portugal-Bangladesh Relationship” held on Friday.
The State Minister said it is indeed time for them to expand bilateral ties from the legacies of the past and take it forward in the future direction of shared prosperity.
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs & Cooperation of Portugal Francisco Andre; Bangladesh Ambassador in Lisbon Tarik Ahsan and Professor Jose Mapril also spoke.
Apart from the above-mentioned panelists, the seminar also brought together academics, practitioners, some Ambassadors/diplomats based in Lisbon, interns and students as participants who discussed opportunities for deepening the existing relationship between Bangladesh and Portugal.
Addressing the seminar, the Secretary of State of Portugal underlined the historic relation between the two peoples that has been re-energized by the presence of the vibrant Bangladeshi community integrated in Portugal.
He also identified various avenues of cooperation at bilateral and global levels, and called for concrete actions to materialize them.
He acknowledged Bangladesh’s rise in his words: “The journey started 500 years ago and, today, Bangladesh plays an important role in the global network of partnerships in a region of the world that is at the centre of the international agenda and post/pandemic recovery”.
Bangladesh Ambassador in Lisbon focused on the present realities and future aspirations of the Bangladesh-Portugal relationship in his deliberation.
He stressed the need for continued exchange of high-level visits, like the one by Bangladesh State Minister’s present visit, to sustain and further elevate the existing bilateral relations.
He briefed the audience on the ongoing initiatives of Bangladesh Embassy and the future plans for the upliftment of the relations between the two countries.
Putting the Bangladeshi migrants at the center of the Bangladesh-Portugal relations, he said, “We look forward to a future when Bangladeshi migrants in Portugal will be empowered enough to play a pivotal role in deepening Bangladesh Portugal relations”.
Speaking at the end, Professor Jose Mapril identified heritage and mobility as the connecting factors between Bangladesh and Portugal.
He credited the Bangladeshi migrants as the emissary of Bangladesh in Portugal and expressed confidence in their future role in enhancing the ties between the two countries.
The State Minister also participated in an interactive question-and-answer session at the close of the panel discussions.
After opening remarks by President of Macao Centre Prof. Carmen Amado Mendes, a documentary containing recorded video messages from world leaders on the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence was screened.