Information Minister Hasan Mahmud said the relationship between Bangladesh and the United States is excellent despite recent comment regarding US sanctions by PM Sheikh Hasina.
“We have taken several positive decisions in recent times to enhance our relations with the United States,” he said during a press briefing at his ministry on Sunday afternoon.
Mahmud emphasized the government’s desire to strengthen ties with the US.
Highlighting the need to diversify trade opportunities, Mahmud mentioned that Bangladesh has not been able to increase trade with countries of South America.
He also stressed the importance of expanding trade with the Middle East beyond labour export, given the increased purchasing power and awareness in the region.
He also emphasized the trade potential in ASEAN countries and the Oceania region, citing the Prime Minister’s interest in exploring these opportunities.
“Prime Minister’s remarks regarding the US visa policy were intended to alleviate concerns and ease ten-sion for those worried about obtaining US visas,” he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said the new US visa policy is their own matter. It doesn’t matter if someone goes to the USA crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a 20-hour- plane journey.
“There are other oceans and other continents in the world; we will make friends with those continents crossing the other oceans. Our economy will be stronger and more developed and vibrant,” she said.
Hasan Mahmud also mentioned that Bangladesh’s budget deficit stands at 5.2 percent, whereas in com-parison, India’s deficit is 5.9 percent, the United States’ is 6 percent, and the United Kingdom’s is 5.5 percent.
He referred to the proposed budget for 2023-24 as “people-friendly and poor-friendly,” stating that the government aims to increase the number of direct beneficiaries and the number of allowances provided.
He further said that around two crore people would directly receive various forms of government assis-tance, including financial aid.
In addition, he announced that a list containing the names of individuals involved in arson attacks, as well as their instigators and financiers, would be disseminated to relevant authorities.