Expo 2020 Dubai: Bangladesh, UAE have come a long way in 50 years, says commerce minister

The South Asian country marked its National Day at the world fair on Thursday


Anjana Sankar

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Photo: Expo 2020 Dubai
Photo: Expo 2020 Dubai

Published: Thu 16 Dec 2021, 5:03 PM

Both Bangladesh and UAE have come a long way and demonstrated excellent foresight in the last 50 years, said Tipu Munshi, Bangladesh's Minister of Commerce.

His remarks came on Thursday, as his country marked its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“We are delighted to be celebrating our 50th year of independence - our victory day - at Expo 2020 Dubai. Expo 2020 has raised our bilateral relations to a new historic high. The relations between Bangladesh and the UAE are based on fraternal relations, shared faith, traditions, government and joint aspirations,” Munshi said.

Bangladesh marked its Expo 2020 Dubai National Day on December 16 with an impressive line-up of cultural and entertainment activities - including traditional dance attributed to the nation’s forefathers, martyrs and freedom fighters - at Al Wasl Plaza, the Bangladesh pavilion and venues across the Expo site.

Munshi led a delegation from Bangladesh that was welcomed by Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai; and Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Expo 2020 Dubai Commissioner-General Office.

Elaborating on the impressive economic development his country has achieved, Munshi said Bangladesh’s economy has transformed from a strong agricultural economy to a strong export economy with many investment opportunities.

“Bangladesh is the second-largest apparel producer after China, and we have a lot of other items coming out of Bangladesh including leather, jute, pharmaceuticals and electrical goods; we export to more than 150 countries. This is all down to the success of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed, who is doing a great job in this respect," he said.

The past decade has seen Bangladesh rising as an economic powerhouse with an annual GDP growth touching 7 per cent. The World Bank has upgraded Bangladesh’s GDP growth forecast for this fiscal year to 3.6 per cent, making it the second-best performing economy in the South Asia.

Dr Nadia Binte Amin, president of Women Entrepreneurs Network for Development (WEND) Association, who is part of the delegation, told Khaleej Times that one of Bangladesh's key achievements is women empowerment and closing the gender gap.

“Bangladesh ranked 65th among 156 countries according to Gender Gap Report 2021 by World Economic Forum. Bangladesh outranks all other South Asian countries in most indicators. Our participation in labour force, management, entrepreneurship is increasing by the day. These achievements are not easy in an agrarian society where religious influence remains quite strong,” she said.


“In political leadership, the country has been consistently led by women for the last 30 years. Our country has been blessed by our current leadership - Sheikh Hasina - one of the most dynamic and visionary leaders in the world. We have plenty of reasons to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh - like the UAE this year.”

The Bangladesh pavilion, located in Expo’s Sustainability District, highlights the country’s national and economic priorities and achievements in various areas. This includes its plan for 2021-2041, which charts an important path towards growth and development for Bangladesh’s robust people, as well as its eco-friendly products and unique innovations, said Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali.

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