Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is leaving for the United Arab Emirates today on a five-day visit.

“We already have a very good relationship with the UAE. We want to further improve it. We also want to increase our export to the Gulf nation,” said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen.

He said the UAE would be a very important place in the future. So, it is important for Bangladesh to improve the relationship to maintain the labour market, economic relationship, and draw investment.

Bangladesh is eager for a direct shipping service with the UAE, he said at a press conference at the state guesthouse Padma yesterday.

The PM will discuss potential cooperation on renewable energy, climate change, sustainable development, ICT and artificial intelligence, which will improve Bangladesh’s capacity for the fourth industrial revolution.

Four to five MoUs on these issues are expected to be signed during the five-day visit.

Hasina is visiting the UAE at the invitation of Dubai’s ruler and UAE Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to attend the Dubai Expo 2022, which is being organised on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

She will visit the Bangladesh pavilion. It will be an occasion to showcase the achievements of Bangladesh, especially its socio-economic development.

Momen said the UAE is a major labour market for Bangladesh, as well as a trade partner. The bilateral trade is $2 billion, but the UAE exports goods worth about $1.5 billion. “So, we are eager to increase our exports.”

Also, the UAE has a number of investment proposals in Bangladesh, which is something that the country wants.

The government in principle decided to award the UAE the work of a bay terminal in Chattogram. The two countries will also organise Joint Business Forum to improve trade relations, he said.

Hasina will also lay the foundation stone of Bangladesh-English Private School’s new campus at Ra Al Khaimah.

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