The Minister called upon the Government of Maldives to enforce safe and conducive workplace conditions for Bangladeshi expatriate workers
The departing High Commissioner of the Maldives to Bangladesh, Aishath Shaan Shakir, made a farewell call on Foreign Minister, Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday.
While highlighting Maldives as Bangladesh's time-tested partner and friend", Foreign Minister commended the Maldivian envoy for proactive engagements in Bangladesh, which contributed to advancing the Bangladesh-Maldives relations, a press release said.
High Commissioner Shakir appreciated the diligence and sincerity with which nearly 100,000 Bangladeshi expatriate workers are serving in the Maldives. This is the largest expatriate community in South Asia, the press release added.
To ensure the protection of workers' rights, Dr Momen suggested that all recruitments be made through agencies nominated by the Government of Bangladesh and duly endorsed by the Bangladesh High Commission in Malé.
The Minister called upon the Government of Maldives to enforce safe and conducive workplace conditions for Bangladeshi wage earners.
Earlier, Bangladesh sent food, medicine and health equipment to Maldives in an expression of goodwill during the Covid pandemic. 71 stranded Maldivian nationals were evacuated by C-130 flight of Bangladesh Air Force.
Bangladesh also sent a 10-member medical team to the Maldives in April to provide healthcare during the pandemic.
The departing High Commissioner also appreciated the contribution of many Bangladeshi physicians currently serving with repute at hospitals in the Maldives. She informed that the Maldives has a need for more doctors and nurses from Bangladesh.
The Foreign Minister said that Bangladesh, with its ready pool of talented professionals, would be happy to meet further need for human resources in the Maldives.
Foreign Minister Momen stressed on the fact that climate is an existential, as well as a development, issue for both Bangladesh and the Maldives. He highlighted the need for countries to fulfill their Conference of the Parties (COP) commitments.
The Minister expressed Bangladesh's willingness to collaborate further with the Maldives on climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Regarding bilateral trade, Dr Momen emphasized the need to explore untapped potential, saying, "Bangladesh seeks stronger trade ties with the Maldives".
He requested the High Commissioner to incentivize Maldivian business communities to import high quality RMG, pharmaceutical, jute, leather, plastic, ceramic and agro products from Bangladesh, the press release reads.
He also suggested the launch of direct merchant shipping links between Bangladesh and the Maldives and stressed on the importance of earnest efforts on both sides to discover new areas of cooperation, including soil trade from Bangladesh to the Maldives.
Having successfully completed her tenure in Bangladesh, High Commissioner Shakir is set to assume the post of Chief of Protocol at the Maldives Foreign Ministry in Malé, the press release further added.