Dhaka, Bangladesh
Poland, Bangladesh enjoy warm ties

Poland, Bangladesh enjoy warm ties

By Imtiaz Ahmed

Poland and Bangladesh have a long history of friendly relations between both countries, non-resident Polish Ambassador in Bangladesh Burakowski Adam told The News Today recently. ‘We attach great importance to our ties in all fields, including bilateral trade exchange, cultural engagement, political contact and academic cooperation. We believe that in the near future our countries will work together to expend and strengthen bilateral and multilateral trade exchange, said Burakowski Adam. The rest part of the interview is given below: 01. What is your perception about our culture and Bangladesh is a country of rich culture heritage. I am familiar with the works of Rabindranath Tagore for a very long time. He is quite popular in Poland. I often listen to Rabindra Sangeet music and recently I started learning the beautiful Bengali language. During my last visit to your country I had a chance to visit the Paharpur heritage site – it impressed me very much. 02. Bangladesh-Poland bilateral trade relations are below potentials. What is our target to reach bilateral trade with in next five years? Poland and Bangladesh have a long history of friendly relations between both countries. We attach great importance to our prosper ties in all field, including bilateral trade exchange, cultural engagement, political contact and academic cooperation. We believe that in the near future our countries will work together to expend and strengthen bilateral and multilateral trade exchange. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in trade between Poland and Bangladesh. For example, in 2016 export from Poland to Bangladesh amounted to 31 million USD and imports to near 1.06 billion USD. The most popular export goods were wood pulp, paper and cardboard, while the group of import products with the highest values included textile materials and garments. To sum up, we are convinced that the interest entrepreneurs in the possibility of developing cooperation between Poland and Bangladesh is a good sign for mutual trade in forthcoming days. 3. Foreign direct investment (FDI) flow Bangladesh crossed 3.66 billion US dollars, according to UNCTAD report. Do you see more Polish investment in Bangladesh, particularly in the power and energy sectors? How do you evaluate the investment climate in Bangladesh? Poland is observing Bangladesh’s economic growth with great attention. It is noticeable that the investment climate in Bangladesh is becoming more and more attractive to global entrepreneurs, including Polish. For both Poland and Bangladesh, the power and energy sectors are crucial part of the economy that will be intensively developed in the coming years. Therefore, we are convinced that Polish entrepreneurs can offer merits-related support, exchange of knowledge and experience as well as the necessary equipment for implementing large projects in the power and energy sectors in Bangladesh. In conclusion, it is worth emphasizing that Poland strongly believe that the outlook for development of Poland-Bangladesh cooperation is tremendous and we should use it for strengthen the economies of both countries. 04. Bangladesh is set to become a member of middle income country by 2021. How do you see the achievement of Bangladesh’s economic success? It was with great satisfaction that Poland noticed the achievement of Bangladesh’s economic success. We strongly believe that the dynamic growth in trade is a confirmation of the growing aspiration of Bangladesh in the international arena. Poland will continue to attentively look at economic development in Bangladesh and express hopes for deepening bilateral relations in coming years. 05. What is the number Bangladeshis living in your country? How does your government evaluate their contributions to your country? The total number of Bangladeshis living in Poland is c.a. 1200. They are appreciated by Polish society. We are discovering the Bangladeshi culture and cuisine that they are promoting in our country. There are about twenty Polish citizens living in Bangladesh right now. Almost all of them work in garment industry, but we have also one pilot and one Catholic priest, Father Pawe? Kocio?ek, who runs several schools for children in Joyphurhat, in the Eastern part of Bangladesh. 06. Developing countries, including Bangladesh, are becoming victims of climate change. How do EU and Bangladesh work together on climate change issues? Do you think developed countries should give compensation to developing countries? Environmental and climate change issues are highly important and significant for both European Union and its member states. The EU has already put in place an economy-wide framework of climate and energy policies to ensure that we deliver on our Paris commitment for 2030 to reduce our greenhouse gases emissions by at least 40 %. The European Commission is also engaged in strategic long-term vision for a climate-neutral vision Europe by 2050. Moreover, the European Union provide the assistance to the government of Bangladesh through implementing many regional project, such as Asia Multiannual Indicative Programme or the EU Global Programme on Agriculture Research for Development. In addition to aforesaid actions, the European Union in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh organized a seminar titled “Bangladesh and EU Dialogue on Climate Change: Global Perspective, Polices and Actions” in 2017. The presentation focused mainly on global and EU climate change policy and priorities. Last but not least, a perfect example of taking real steps for environmental protection was a global campaign for clean, plastic free ocean organized by Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh at Gulshan Lake on 9 October 2019 r. The symbolic clean-up activity did not come down only to collected plastic refuse, but also helped raise awareness of the importance around limiting the usage of single-use plastic products. In conclusion, the European Union and its member states are aware that Bangladesh is one of the countries more vulnerable to climate change, but we strongly believe that above-mentioned actions will minimalize the implications of climate change around the world, including also Bangladesh. 07. Can Poland recruit more skilled Bangladeshi manpower, especially doctors, engineers and nurses? Due to the continuous development of the Polish economy, the demand for qualified employees, including doctors, engineers and nurses, is constantly increasing. Accordingly, Bangladeshi citizens can apply for residence and work permits in Poland. However, it needs to be added that all eventual applicants should meet legal proceedings. 08. Poland has a number of reputed and world standard universities. Can your government give more scholarships to Bangladeshis in higher education? Recently the “Bangabandhu” Centre for the Studies on Bangladesh has been inaugurated at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Hopefully this Centre will be a bridge of mutual understanding between our countries. Also the University of Warsaw is doing common projects with Bangladeshi universities. Recently we also had a visit of the delegation of Polish Institute of International Affairs to Bangladeshi think-tanks. The cooperation is progressing, but it is still a lot to be done. It is to be noted here that Ambassador of Poland in Bangladesh with residence in New Delhi Adam Burakowshi presented his credentials to President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban in November, 2018 (The interview has been taken by Imtiaz Ahmed through email )

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