Swedish state secretary discusses on free, fair elections in Bangladesh

Diana Janse meets state minster for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam.

The Swedish state secretary for International Development Cooperation and International Trade, Diana Janse discussed bilateral trade relations, the business environment and how to further support for the green transition with representatives of Swedish companies.

In the meetings with Bangladeshi counterparts, discussions revolved around bilateral ties, focusing on areas where Sweden and Bangladesh see possibilities for enhanced partnership, including finding synergies between development and trade, sustainability and the green transition, says a press release of the Swedish embassy in Dhaka.

Topics related to democracy, including the importance of free, fair and participatory elections, human rights and the situation of the Rohingya refugees were also discussed. Both sides exchanged views on the war in Ukraine and the situation in the Indo Pacific.

She visited Bangladesh on 9-10 October. During her visit, the state secretary had constructive discussions with representatives of the government of Bangladesh, including prime minister Sheikh Hasina and state minster for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam, as well as civil society representatives and development partners.

"I am happy to pay my first visit to Bangladesh. Last year’s 50th anniversary between our countries was a milestone and we are proud to have been part of Bangladesh impressive development journey. Our partnership is in transition. Swedish development cooperation has been a cornerstone of bilateral relations. Today our ties are multifaceted, dynamic and growing.

Bangladesh is an important and growing trade partner. Sweden will continue to work to enhance this partnership and support Bangladesh’s path towards sustainable economic growth and inclusive development,” said Janse at the end of her visit.

The state secretary Diana Janse visited Swedish supported community activities on WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and Urban Health Care Services in Dhaka

The state secretary visited Swedish supported community activities on WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and Urban Health Care Services in Dhaka. In addition, the Swedish delegation also visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, following up on Swedish support to the crisis.

Diana Janse is state secretary to the Swedish minister for international development cooperation and foreign trade Johan Forsell since November 2022. She is a former career diplomat with extensive experience in the Swedish foreign service including as ambassador to Mali, Lebanon and Georgia.

Sweden’s development cooperation with Bangladesh goes back to independence in 1971. The current strategy for development cooperation covers the years 2021-2025. It focuses on four areas: inclusive economic development; democracy, human rights, rule of law and gender equality; health and climate and environment.

In addition, Sweden is actively engaged and supports efforts to provide assistance to the Rohingya refugees as well for as the host communities in Cox’s Bazar district.

More than 50 Swedish companies are active in Bangladesh, many of them well known global brands.