The issues were discussed at the second bilateral consultation between the foreign ministries of Bangladesh and Oman Thursday at the state guesthouse Padma.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen and Sheikh Khalifa Alharthy, undersecretary for diplomatic affairs, led the Bangladesh and Oman delegations.

The two sides signed a mutual visa waiver agreement for diplomatic, official, special and service passport holders.

The discussions covered stock-taking of existing cooperation in manpower, bilateral trade and investment, agriculture, energy security and exchange of visits between trade bodies.

The new areas that came up in discussion included contract farming and food security, environment and climate change, ICT, blue economy, and shipbuilding industry.

The meeting took note of the need for establishing direct shipping links between the two countries' ports, increasing engagement of private sectors and business communities and agreed on business-to-business interactions and exchange of visits.

Both sides also agreed to form a Bangladesh-Oman Business Forum to augment bilateral trade and business.

They also showed interest in elevating bilateral ties to "comprehensive partnership" from "friendship and cooperation" and agreed to formulate a time-bound and target-based roadmap to achieve the goals of the partnership.

This was the second bilateral consultation held in Dhaka under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Foreign Office Consultations signed between Bangladesh and Oman in 2015.

After the consultation, the Oman undersecretary paid a courtesy call on the Bangladesh foreign minister where they discussed issues of mutual interests.

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