Cooperation on its implementation a reality at this moment: Dutch envoy
Staff Correspondent: The Netherlands has said the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 will be one of the important gateways to galvanise their efforts in broadening the scope of bilateral cooperation in areas like maritime development and inland water transport.
“Bangladeshi and the Dutch are longtime friends. We’ve a lot in common. The most prominent similarity is that we’re low-lying nations where big rivers end in the sea. We’re Delta nations,” Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh Harry Verweij told diplomatic correspondents at ‘DCAB Talk’ here yesterday. He said the Netherlands private sector hopefully can play a role in these areas and Dutch companies are currently engaged in port development in Chittagong and Payra.
At the same time, the Ambassador said, the Netherlands supports capacity development and knowledge generation for maritime development.
Verweij said their experience has led to a fundamental Dutch commitment to Bangladesh on its long-term vision for development –the Delta Plan. “It’s close to both of our hearts and minds.”
The cooperation on the implementation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 is not just a potentiality for a distant future but a reality at this very moment, he said.
At present, Dutch and Bangladeshi teams are working together making coordinated implementation of the plan possible.
“We’re providing know how through our specialised government agencies, our knowledge institutes and our private sectors,” said the Dutch Ambassador.
Terming Bangladesh a vibrant country with the positive economic development and impressive growth figures, the envoy said within the context of their relationship and the newly formulated strategy, the key word is transition.
Bangladesh and the Netherlands are enjoying 46 years of bilateral relations.
As Bangladesh has become a middle-income country, and will graduate out of the group of the least developed countries, Verweij said the Netherlands are transitioning policies towards Bangladesh.
“No longer will the main focus be on development cooperation and a donor-recipient relationship only. We see Bangladesh as an equal partner,” he said.
In this regard, the Ambassador said, their focus will be on aid to trade, and Bangladesh’s upward growth fits in with their role.
He said the Netherlands will pay more attention to identifying and integrating alternative and innovative forms of funding.
“Our ambition is to be seen as a partner for finding multidisciplinary solutions that build a better future for all, thereby increasing trade and foreign investment,” he said.
The Ambassador said Bangladesh is a country with a young population and fertile ground of young entrepreneurs.
“Indeed, the strength of the country lies in younger generation and we should all tap in! A positive image should be the key message. This is a country with opportunities!,” he added.
Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) arranged the event at the auditorium of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS). DCAB President Raheed Ejaz and General Secretary Nurul Islam Hasib also spoke on the occasion.