The Netherlands has appreciated Bangladesh’s continued social and economic progress despite global economic slowdown and uncertainties.
The country noted appreciable ways the ties strengthened and contributed to Bangladesh’s sustainable graduation as a developing country in 2026.
The relationship is increasingly focusing on mutual trade, investments and knowledge exchange.
Bangladesh and the Kingdom of the Netherlands held the Fifth Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) in Dhaka on Sunday.
The Bangladesh delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.
The delegation of the Netherlands was led by the Secretary General of Foreign Affairs of the Nether-lands, Paul Huijts.
Both sides shared perspectives on increased economic collaboration in a broad range of sectors, to create a diversified economy that is shock-resistant after the LDC graduation.
The Dutch side noted the progress that the RMG industry in Bangladesh has made, especially in workers’ safety and labor conditions since the Rana Plaza incident.
The Dutch side confirmed their commitment to continue to work together with the Bangladesh authori-ties and industry to further improve the environmental standards, labor conditions and workers’ rights.
Engaging the private sector in Bangladesh and the Netherlands was widely discussed.
Both sides recognized that entrepreneurs, SMEs and businesses can engage in mutually gainful collabora-tion on knowledge – innovation – based solutions robustly in wide-ranging areas like water efficiency, digitalization, circularity, energy, climate adaptation, maritime, design thinking and sustainability, and agriculture.
They agreed on deepening focus on agriculture and digitalization, in particular, and noted the market scans on Bangladesh agriculture as a stepping stone for deepening bilateral economic ties.
They welcomed the Dutch Agro-Trade Mission to Bangladesh in June 2023 and encouraged all stake-holders in business and government to conduct such structured business interactions at regular intervals.
Recognizing the potential to spur entrepreneurship in Bangladesh youth, they welcomed commencement of the first Asian hub of the Orange Corners in Bangladesh (February 2023).
The Dutch side underlined the importance of further improvements in business climate to encourage for-eign investment and trade in keeping with relevant global practices and standards and in attracting more foreign investment and business to Bangladesh.
Underlining that the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 should serve as a key vehicle and a process of mutual learning in securing sustainable development of Bangladesh society, economy and ecology, they wel-comed commencement of its Phase II (2022-2032).
It was emphasized that the Plan should drive integrated efforts in making manufacturing, agriculture, urbanization, transport logistics and energy systems in Bangladesh future-proof while building resilient water infrastructure.
Noting the current and future growth scenarios in Bangladesh, regional developments including the war in Ukraine, and transition in global supply chains, the two sides recognized the scope for deepening eco-nomic collaboration in longer term based on mutuality of interests.
The two sides discussed developments in the region, including the importance of increasing cooperation and connectivity between the EU and the Indo-Pacific region and opportunities for strengthening Bang-ladesh-Netherlands cooperation in multilateral fora.