Finance minister stresses on boosting relations with EU

Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood AliBSS

Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali has stressed further boosting Bangladesh’s relations with the European Union (EU) as it is a very big market for the country.

“Bangladesh has a very big market in the EU. All things are going well there, such as the export market, sending of workers and the reputation for good work by the Bangladeshis. We’ll have to look into how to improve such condition and our relations with the EU,” he said.

The finance minister said this while replying to the queries of the leaders and members of the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) after EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley met him at his secretariat office Monday.

When asked in which sectors the EU Ambassador has shown interest in investing in Bangladesh, Ali said the Ambassador did not specify the sectors, but gave an outline.

The finance minister warned the EU member countries do not want to host any illegal people in their countries.

“Those who want to go to Europe or want to live there ...if there is any legal scope to go there and live there, then the EU will accept them”, he added.

Ali also asserted that Bangladesh does not want any Bangladeshi to live in Europe as an illegal migrant.

The finance minister said he was informed that $1 billion was sent by expatriate Bangladeshis from Italy annually, and it was a nice development.

He said the Bangladeshis have a good demand in Italy since they work there with a good reputation.

“Italy is a very important country for us and the Bangladeshi workers are working there with good reputation. We’ll have to capitalise on this. The EU has also plan to help us in various sectors,” he added.

Meanwhile, the EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley said the European Union is eager to increase investment in Bangladesh.

Mentioning that Europe has a trade of $24 billion with Bangladesh, he said they want exports of Bangladeshi products to the EU to increase.