Bangladesh’s newly appointed ambassador, Muhammad Riaz Hamidullah, presents his credentials to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands on Thursday
Bangladesh’s newly appointed ambassador, Muhammad Riaz Hamidullah, presents his credentials to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands on ThursdayCollected

In continuity of the concept of ‘green growth’, Europe and the rest of the developed world are now placing emphasis on circular economy. The European Union (EU) is already functioning on the basis of the circular economy work plan. And as one of Bangladesh’s major development partners, the Netherlands will assist Bangladesh in adapting to circular economy in the changed development scene.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands gave this assurance to Bangladesh’s ambassador Muhammad Riaz Hamidullah on Thursday. As Bangladesh’s newly appointed ambassador, Muhammad Riaz Hamidullah, was presenting his credentials to the king at the royal palace in The Hague.

Re-manufacturing is important to circular economy particularly for the sake of maintaining environmental balance. Europe is the destination of 60 per cent of Bangladesh’s readymade garment exports. It is therefore essential for Bangladesh to speedily adapt to this system.

According to the EU website, the European Union has been working in accordance to a work plan drawn up in 2015. According to that plan, people will be provided with high quality and safe products at economical prices. These products will be more sustainable than past products and can be remanufactured too. The focus is on improved living, creative employment and ensuring higher knowledge and skills. The aim of the European Union is, by means of circular economy, to reduce carbon emissions to a specific level by 2030 and cut expenditure by at least 60,000 billion euros, as well as to ensure a minimum 80,000 jobs.

Diplomatic sources in Brussels said that the European Union countries are first implementing circular economy themselves. From 2025, the countries exporting goods to 27 EU countries will have to follow that system of production in order to remain in the competition. It will be compulsory to make it possible to remanufacture one-fourth of a product of countries exporting to the EU.

Re-manufacturing is important to circular economy particularly for the sake of maintaining environmental balance. Several industries in India have are already prepared to meet the European market in these new circumstances.

Europe is the destination of 60 per cent of Bangladesh’s readymade garment exports. It is therefore essential for Bangladesh to speedily adapt to this system.

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Speaking to Prothom Alo on Wednesday, Riaz Hamidullah said that various issues were discussed when he presented his credentials to the king of the Netherlands, including the matter of circular economy. The Netherlands and other European countries had attached this concept to manufacturing too. The king has shown interest in how the Netherlands could assist Bangladesh in future in this regard.

The ambassador said as Bangladesh was doing well in economic growth as well as in various social indicators, there was scope for cooperation with the Netherlands in various creative fields, not just in manufacturing. He informed the king that the two countries could benefit equally from such cooperation.

As chairman of the UN water and sewerage advisory committee, King Willem-Alexander had visited Bangladesh 30 years ago. He recalled those memories and inquired about Bangladesh’s urbanisation, life and drinking water supply.

The volume of Bangladesh’s bilateral trade with the Netherlands is around 1.5 billion dollars. Of this, Bangladesh’s exports make up about 1.2 billion dollars.

Coronavirus has changed everything

In dealing with the global changes brought about by the outbreak of coronavirus, everything is now ‘touch-free’ in the Netherlands. Instead of dealing in cash, transactions are online. It will take three or four months more for the country to return to normal. Only then will it be possible to ascertain changes in the buyers’ mindsets. It is still hard to tell whether they will continue with ‘touch-free’ transactions or not.

A social gathering was arranged at the Bangladesh embassy in the Netherlands on Thursday. Diplomats of various countries and representatives of international agencies attended the event. Discussions also revolved around the changes in European economy. Many of those present asked the ambassador how prepared Bangladesh was to meet these changed circumstances.

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Memories going back 30 years

As chairman of the UN water and sewerage advisory committee, King Willem-Alexander had visited Bangladesh 30 years ago. He recalled those memories when the Bangladesh ambassador presented his credentials on Thursday. The king inquired about Bangladesh’s urbanisation, life and drinking water supply.

In a notice issued by the Bangladesh embassy in the Netherlands, it was said that King Willem-Alexander praised the astute and strong leadership of prime minister Sheikh Hasina and the Bangladesh’s socio-economic development. He said that the two deltaic countries could enhance cooperation in various sectors such as climate change, women’s development, sustainable manufacturing, technology, economy and more.

Riaz Hamidullah conveyed his thanks to the Dutch government for its continued cooperation ever since Bangladesh’s independence. He also thanked the Dutch government’s various initiatives and support during the pandemic , and also the Dutch brands for maintaining the readymade garment supply orders. The ambassador apprised the king of the existing and potential investment benefits for Dutch investors in Bangladesh’s agriculture, technology, energy, water and various other sectors.