Dhaka : Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on September 6 urged the United Kingdom to remove Bangladesh from its Covid-19 red list while being in Europe for a bilateral meeting with his British counterpart Dominic Raab.
"Given Bangladesh's robust vaccine roll-out and significant reductions in coronavirus infection to 9.82 per cent and the sufferings of more than 7,000 British-Bangladeshis currently stranded in Bangladesh, the UK should consider removing Bangladesh from the Covid-19 red-list countries," he said at the meeting held virtually.
In response, Raab assured that the UK would review the matter of Bangladesh being in red list and his government is well aware of the decreasing Covid-19 infections in Bangladesh, a press release stated on September 7.
He mentioned such decisions are reviewed by public health experts on a regular basis.
Both Momen and Raab agreed to jointly celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh-UK diplomatic relations through the exchange of high-level visits and charting an ambitious and ever-expanding Bangladesh-UK post-Brexit strategic partnership.
On post-Brexit trade relations with the UK, one of Bangladesh's largest trade and investment partners, Momen sought an extension of the UK's zero-duty GSP facility until 2029, especially given the losses suffered by the Bangladesh apparel industry owing to post-pandemic cancellations and non-payments by the UK retailers.
Citing countries that have already taken dedicated SEZs in Bangladesh, including Saudi Arabia, Japan, India, China, and South Korea, Bangladesh foreign minister offered a dedicated SEZ for British investors.
He invited fresh investments in the IT and green RMG and apparel industry, as well as offshore solar and wind power plants, electric vehicles and batteries, electric public transport, and railway sectors.
On climate change, Dr Momen recalled his recent meeting with COP26 President Alok Sharma and reiterated Bangladesh's request as the CVF President for the participation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the CVF-COP26 Leaders Dialogue during the COP26 Leaders Summit in Glasgow.
Commending Bangladesh as a climate leader and its proactive CVF Presidency role, the British foreign minister called upon Bangladesh to declare a net-zero by 2050 and a transition to clean energy.
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