Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper), The “remarkable journey” made by Bangladesh has been heralded at a conference in the European Parliament.
This, and the country’s role as one of the European Union’s main trading partners, was cited at the event in Brussels (7 November).
The debate focused on various aspects, including Bangladesh’s economic growth, trade relations with the EU, the clothing industry’s pivotal role, and the need for constructive dialogue and recognition of progress in the country.
The conference recognized the European Union’s “crucial” role as Bangladesh’s primary trading partner.
The EU, it was said, accounted for 19.5% of the country’s total trade in 2020.
Speakers also acknowledged the significance of the clothing industry as the key to Bangladesh’s success.
Notably, Bangladesh’s GDP – Gross Domestic Product – skyrocketed from $53 billion in 2000 to $416 billion in 2021, largely due to the transformative impact of the clothing industry.
“This phenomenal growth marked an almost eightfold increase in just two decades,” said Tomáš Zdechovský, an EPP MEP and host of the conference.
Bangladesh’s transition from an agricultural nation to a fully industrialized one, largely attributed to the clothing industry’s success, was acknowledged.
The conference noted that today, “every part” of Bangladesh has access to electricity, thanks to extensive investments in renewable energies.
Bangladesh’s relative stability and rapid development were highlighted, positioning the country as a “South Asian Tiger and a pillar of stability in the region.”
“What Bangladesh achieved is remarkable. We need to celebrate the massive success” said Zdechovský, who is a member of the foreign affairs committee.
Zdechovský stressed the importance of “constructive dialogue and expressed the need to appreciate and welcome the significant progress Bangladesh has made.”
The conference emphasized the importance of “building strong and reliable partnerships with Bangladesh instead of resorting to constant criticism.”
It was noted that “continuous criticism may open the door for other global players to increase their influence in the region.”
The discussion also touched on the forthcoming general elections in Bangladesh, “considering them a pinnacle of democracy, with confidence that democracy will prevail.”
The European Union’s decision not to send an election observation mission to Bangladesh was seen as a “sign of strong relations and high mutual trust, indicating a robust partnership built on trust and respect.”
The conference provided what was called a comprehensive overview of the “positive trajectory of Bangladesh’s economic growth, trade relations with the EU, and the need for fostering a constructive and trust-based dialogue.”
It concluded, “with optimism”, for the upcoming general elections, highlighting the “strength” of democratic institutions in Bangladesh.
The event was also co-hosted by Syed Mozammel Syed from Study Circle London.