The deputy high commissioner of the United Kingdom in Dhaka, Javed Patel has paid a two-day visit to Sylhet. After concluding the trip on Tuesday, he expressed his delightment, terming the city as one of the most beautiful cities in Bangladesh.
"I am delighted to visit Sylhet – one of the most beautiful cities in Bangladesh and where the ties between the UK and Bangladesh are as strong as ever," he said.
Javed also said, "Many British-Bangladeshis have direct connections to the city and it's great to finally experience the culture and traditions for myself."
Reflecting on the long friendship between Bangladesh and teh UK, the diplomat said, "We look forward to celebrating our exceptional bond with Bangladesh, as this wonderful country celebrates its 50th anniversary this year."
This was Patel's first visit to Sylhet since he joined the British High Commission in Dhaka in February last year, said a press release.
During the drip, he met local officials to discuss opportunities for further shared growth.
On the first day of his visit on Monday, he met City Mayor, Ariful Haque Chowdhury. Besides discussing longstanding people-to people ties, they talked about the UK's role working with the Sylhet City Corporation and United Nations Development Programme to alleviate urban poverty.
The programme comprises a range of activities including community mobilization, Covid-19 awareness, nutritional support and livelihood grants.
Till the date, the programme has helped around 110,00 people currently living in Sylhet. The deputy high-commissioner also met the Sylhet Divisional Commissioner, Md Mashiur Rahman, and DIG of Sylhet Range, Mofiz Uddin Ahammed PPM.
Patel visited the new British Council Office and observed the activities of the UK exam administration. He also visited the Khadimnagar tea estate, the popular tourist spot 'Jaflong', and met Immigration and Customs Officers at the Tamabil border post.
Around 600,000 people of Bangladeshi origin currently live in the UK, with most coming from Sylhet division.
Currently, the UK is the third biggest bilateral donor overall in Bangladesh. Besides, it is Bangladesh's third single largest export partner.
In 2019, Bangladesh exported goods to the UK worth £3.3 billion. The UK is also the second largest cumulative investor in Bangladesh with £1.9 billion of investments.
The UK, the second largest donor to the international response to the Rohingya refugee crisis, is providing life-sustaining humanitarian aid to almost a million Rohingya refugees and vulnerable host communities in Cox's Bazar. Since the last refugee influx in 2017, the UK has contributed close to £300 million.