Nordic countries eye stronger partnership with Bangladesh


Dhaka, Feb 29: Three ambassadors of Nordic countries — Denmark, Norway and Sweden — on Saturday promised to have a stronger partnership with Bangladesh with a focus on green growth and increased investment flow to help grow Bangladesh in a faster way.Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Winnie Estrup Petersen, Norwegian Ambassador to Bangladesh Sidsel Bleken and Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh Charlotta Schlyter shared their priority areas from renewable energy to blue economy and climate change and highlighted easing investment in Bangladesh removing barriers.

The Nordic ambassadors were addressing a symposium  titled ‘Bangladesh and Nordic Countries: Prognosis for Partnership’ at Six Seasons Hotel in the city.

The ambassadors stationed in Dhaka laid emphasis on resolving  Rohingya crisis noting that the provisional measures by the top UN court – International Court of Justice (ICJ) – are a important step on accountability front.

They observed that the responsibility of safe return of Rohingyas goes  to Myanmar.

The Norwegian Ambassador hoped that Myanmar will fully implement the ICJ order.

The ambassadors also assured Bangladesh of their continuous support for the Rohingyas living in Cox’s Bazar camps and the host communities.

They also stressed   creating conducive environment in Rakhine State for the safe return of Rohingyas to their  homeland.

The ambassadors appreciated Bangladesh’s support towards Rohingyas.

Issues related to labour rights and other rights ones, the role of private sector, ocean pollution, climate change, river pollution, air pilution, women rights and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came up for discussions at the dialogue.

Terming their partnership with Bangladesh “very deep and long-lasting one”, the ambassadors said their countries have more to gain.

Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Principal Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, is chairing and conducting the symposium.

Cosmos Foundation Chairman Enayetullah Khan delivered welcome remarks.

Cosmos Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Cosmos Group, is hosting the symposium as part of Cosmos Dialogue Ambassadors’ Lecture Series.

Foreign affairs experts, civil society  members and senior journalists are attending the event.

The five Nordic countries —  Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden — all recognised Bangladesh on the same day – February 4, 1972.

This early and decisive move to come out and endorse the nascent state spoke to the support for Bangladesh’s independence across the region in Northern Europe that these countries occupy.