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Tuesday, December 9, 2014, Agrahayan 25, 1421, Safar 15, 1436 Hijr

Canada for dialogue for transparent democratic process
Observer Online Desk
Published : Tuesday, 9 December, 2014,  Time : 6:26 PM,  View Count : 16
Outgoing Canadian High Commissioner in Dhaka Heather Cruden on Tuesday encouraged dialogue among all major political parties to ensure transparency and accountability in all democratic processes.

“We continue to encourage dialogue between all major political parties,” she said during her interactions with ministers.

Cruden met Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Health Minister Mohammed Nasim.

She said the last three years were very interesting and challenging and Canada, like the citizens of Bangladesh, is pleased that all the political parties have eschewed violence since the elections.

The Canadian diplomat hoped that Bangladesh can reach its full potential in terms of economic and social development and achieve middle-income status by 2021.

“Bangladesh has made a significant progress in achieving MDGs 4 and 5 and Canada is proud of its support,” she said.

During the meetings with the ministers, High Commissioner Cruden talked about Canada-Bangladesh relations, the development partnership between the two countries and trade relations.

Expressing satisfaction over her three-year stay in Bangladesh, she said, “I’m extremely pleased that over that period our bilateral trade relationship grew to over Canadian $1.8 billion and that Bangladesh has been confirmed as a country of focus for our development program."

Canada continues to provide duty-free access for more than Can $1 billion in readymade garment exports to Canada, Cruden said.

Bangladesh imported about Can $660 million from Canada in 2013, including cereals (wheat), pulses and iron.

Canada and Bangladesh concluded an agreement this year to ship potash which will help Bangladeshi farmers improve their crops.

She highlighted the contributions of more than 100,000 Bangladeshi immigrants to Canada.

Canada's development assistance remains focused on children and youth, including maternal newborn and child health and primary education.

In addition, the High Commissioner noted Canada’s continuing support to improving labour rights and expanding skills development for sustainable economic growth.

She also highlighted recent announcements to assist Bangladesh in reducing child, early and forced marriage.

Canadian companies are interested in working in different sectors, and she hoped that exports would be diversified in the coming years.

The High Commissioner highlighted how much she enjoyed her time in Bangladesh commenting. “The Bangladeshi people continue to impress me with their generosity, entrepreneurial spirit, innovativeness and resilience,” she said.

Official relations between Bangladesh and Canada were established more than 40 years ago and Canada continues to maintain a strong interest in Bangladesh’s democratic, economic and social development.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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