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Bangladeshi diplomat calls for more official visits between Amman, Dhaka

By Khetam Malkawi - Mar 25,2014 - Last updated at Mar 25,2014

AMMAN — Jordan was one of the first countries to recognise the independence of Bangladesh in 1971; however, bilateral ties need further expansion, Bangladeshi Ambassador to Jordan Muhammad Enayet Hossain said.

In an interview with The Jordan Times on the eve of his country’s national day, celebrated on March 26, Hossain said there should be more visits between officials from Amman and Dhaka, which he will focus on.

These visits, he explained, will help deepen bilateral relations in various sectors, including trade, which is below expectations.

Jordan’s main imports from Dhaka are garments and textiles, he said, voicing hope that the Kingdom will become a market for Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals, which are exported to 100 countries across the world.

According to Hossain, the main agreement signed between his country and the Kingdom is the one related to labour, noting that there are between 50,000 to 60,000 Bangladeshi workers in Jordan.

He also noted that another agreement in the field of agricultural cooperation has been drafted and will be signed soon between the two governments.

The ambassador explained that agriculture is one of the most important sectors in his country, which might consider importing fertilisers from Jordan.

According to the Agro Bangladesh website, Bangladesh is primarily an agrarian economy. 

Agriculture is the single largest producing sector of the economy since it comprises about 30 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product and employs around 60 per cent of the total labour force. 

Jordan and Bangladesh are also cooperating in the military domain, with Jordanian army officers giving training courses in Dhaka on a regular basis, Hossain said.

He voiced hope that there will be further cooperation in the tourism sector, noting that Jordan and Palestine are popular destinations among Bangladeshis, especially for religious tourism.

To capitalise on that, Hossain called on Jordanian authorities to facilitate visa requirements and procedures for Bangladeshi citizens, expressing concern over the recent rejection of entry visas for a group of Bangladeshis who were planning to come to the Kingdom for tourism purposes.

“The group was planning to go from here to Jerusalem. They are very religious and from well-off families; I don’t find any reason why they were not given visas,” the diplomat said.

According to the embassy’s figures, 493 Jordanians were issued visas to Bangladesh in 2013 and “we expect more this year.”

Having a direct flight between Amman and Dhaka would also increase the number of visitors, Hossain said, noting that around 40 to 50 of his compatriots travel between the two countries every week.

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