The People’s Republic of Bangladesh , on Tuesday pledged to partner with Nigeria to boost trade and economic cooperation.

Ms Shahhat Gati, the Acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Nigeria, said this in her address at the 48th Independence and National Day organised by the Bangladesh Embassy in Abuja.

She said that Bangladesh and Nigeria had enjoyed bilateral relations since the establishment of the diplomatic affairs between both countries in the mid 1970.

According to her, Bangladesh opened its High Commission in Abuja on Nov. 26, 2016 and we have requested the Nigerian authorities to reciprocate the initiatives by opening its mission in Bangladesh.

Gati said “both Bangladesh and Nigeria share similar values and ideals as common members of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Commonwealth and the D-8 group.

“The potentials for enhancement of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries are immense. Mutual collaboration in scientific, education, energy sector and cooperation in investment promotion, information and communication technology sector will strengthen our friendly bond.

“We also share our experiences in the areas of development, poverty alleviation, women empowerment and infrastructure development.

“Our bilateral trade and exchanges are increasing and we hope to continue to work with Nigeria on all issues of mutual interest, for the benefit of our two peoples’.

She said the partnership had become important not just because it is the first time to mark the day in Nigeria, but also UN up-scaled Bangladesh status on March 16.

Gati further said that Nigeria ranked high among North and West African countries as export destination for Bangladesh, in terms of goods, ceramics, tobacco and cotton bags.

She expressed confidence in her hope to continue in the trade trend with Nigeria, in the bid to expand on their bilateral relations in years to come.

She extolled the Nigeria military officers who attended the senior professional courses in Defense Training Institutions in Bangladesh to have performed creditably over the past years.

She expressed the hope that Nigeria would continue to utilize such facilities to further strengthen existing relationship between the two countries.

In separate interview, Mrs Aisha Dewa, the Acting Director of Asia and Pacific Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Nigeria had indeed enjoyed close relations with Bangladesh.

She said although Nigeria closed its mission in Bangladesh sometime ago, the High Commission in India oversees the nation’s affairs in Bangladesh.

According to her, we hope that Nigeria will re-open the mission in Bangladesh for the relationship to continue.

“We can forge more cooperation in the area of economy; in the defence area we are doing well, our defense officers have been to Bangladesh.

“We hope that the defense officers of Bangladesh will come to Nigeria too in exchange of sharing experiences on security matter.

“I hope it will continue in that tract, I am looking forward to the area of trade and investment.

“Our relationship has been growing from strength to strength; we do not have any irritant for now in the relationship between Nigeria and Bangladesh,’’ Dewa said.

Nigeria and Bangladesh established diplomatic relations in 1972, following the Bangladeshi war of independence from Pakistan.

Both nations are members of the Commonwealth, the Organisation of Islamic Countries. (NAN).

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