Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said Bangladesh and Brunei are enjoying an excellent relationship, which is solidly founded on shared values, religion, cultural linkage and many commonalities.
"Our two countries continue to enjoy excellent relationship, which is solidly founded on shared values, religion, cultural linkage, and many commonalities," she said while speaking at the banquet at Royal Palace, Brunei hosted by Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.
Sheikh Hasina said it was, indeed, gratifying for her to visit the great country, a true "Abode of Peace", where pristine nature and centuries-old tradition embrace modernity.
She recalled the memories of her brief visit to Brunei in early 1990s. At that time, her younger sister Sheikh Rehana was residing in Brunei with her family.
The prime minister said immediately after coming to office in 1996, she had taken the initiative to reopen Bangladesh's resident mission in Brunei with to forge closer ties between the two countries. "I'm thankful to Your Majesty for opening the resident mission in Dhaka in 1999," she added.
In Bangladesh, she said, the government is implementing a series of comprehensive initiatives to materialise the cherished dream of "Sonar Bangla" of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. "Robust economic performance and growing investments in social sectors kept us well in track to become a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041."
Sheikh Hasina said in the afternoon, both the countries agreed to work together to promote deeper cooperation between the two countries. "We've identified a number of areas for collaboration. We also witnessed conclusion of seven bilateral instruments in priority areas."
Later in the afternoon, she said, she had the privilege to attend a Business Forum where business communities from both countries had interactions to identify the potential areas of cooperation.
The prime minister also invited Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah to visit Bangladesh along with Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri.
Earlier in the afternoon, prime minister Sheikh Hasina visited Jame Asr Mosque, the largest mosque of Brunei.
She offered Asr prayers in the mosque, which is one of the two national mosques of the country.
Sheikh Hasina also offered doa seeking blessings of Almighty Allah for the continued progress and prosperity of the nation as well as for peace and unity of the Muslim Ummah.
The prime minister went round different parts of the mosque that has 29 golden domes and four minarets with a height of 190 feet.
Sheikh Hasina exchanged pleasantries with the devotees who were present there at that time. She also signed the visitors' book.