The European Union and Bangladesh Wednesday signed two investment packages, a Renewable Energy Package worth 400 million euro (USD 422 million) and the second, EU's Annual Action Plan for 2023 valued at 70 million euro (USD 73 million) for public administration, employment and education.
Speaking to the press at the signing ceremony of the two agreements, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said the EU has built "a solid partnership" with Bangladesh.
"And now we will take it to the next level. Because in a time of global turbulence, the European Union is glad to be able to count on its long-standing partners, as they can count on us," she said.
On her part, prime minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina said this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of EU-Bangladesh partnership and noted that the EU is now Bangladesh largest trading partner.
"We appreciate EU's interest in partnering with us on climate action and renewable energy," she told the joint press conference.
Sheikh Hasina announced that the EU and Bangladesh will soon launch negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
Referring to the Rohingya refugees who have sought shelter in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said the solution to Rohingya crisis lies in their safe and sustainable return to their homeland in Myanmar and urged the EU to remain engaged for an early durable solution to this problem.
The Bangladeshi prime Minister is in Brussels to attend the First Global Gateway Forum.
The Global Gateway will invest close to 1 billion euro (USD 1.1 billion) in Bangladesh, announced von der Leyen.
Analysts note that the Global Gateway initiative is intended to boost EU's influence around the world and is seen as a counterweight to China's Belt and Road initiative. (end) nk.ibi
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