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Mexico keen to bolster ties with Bangladesh

Mexico keen to bolster ties with Bangladesh by RexoNews.

Mexico  is set to open an embassy in Dhaka this year as the Latin  American nation is eager to boost trade and diplomatic relationship in  consideration of Bangladesh’s growing economy and importance in regional  and global spheres.

Mexico currently has a consulate in Dhaka.

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Federico Salas, Mexican Ambassador to  Bangladesh, was in Dhaka to present his credentials to President Abdul  Hamid. He agreed to an exclusive interview with The Daily Star on  January 30 where he shared his insights on bilateral relations between  the two nations and future plans.

“We are taking tangible and  specific decisions. We decided to open a resident embassy in Bangladesh  in the course of this year. With this, opportunities will multiply and  in turn deepen our relationship,” said Salas.

Noting that cultural  and people-to-people contact play an important role in improving  relations, Salas said, adding that he wanted to bring Mexican chefs and have  week-long culinary experiences here in Bangladesh.

“Mexican food is part of world heritage. We want to bring here–the taste, the colours and the spirit.”

Salas also said he will start working on academic exchange in higher education to improve people-to-people ties.

Salas,  who is based in Delhi and accredited to Bangladesh, Nepal, the Maldives and  Sri Lanka, also met Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Secretary  Masud Bin Momen and visited the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of  Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) during his trip.

“Mexico-Bangladesh  relationship is still focused on multilateral sphere, mostly in UN, but  bilateral relationship is growing. In the past five years, two-way  trade multiplied by 100 percent to about $500 million, which has created  a momentum. I want to pursue this to keep up the growth trend and  diversify goods and services. There is a significant potential there,”  said Salas.

With that in mind, Mexico’s Minister for Interior and  Exterior Relations Marcelo Ebrard will be visiting Bangladesh on March  7-8, which will be the first visit to Bangladesh by a Mexican foreign  minister to explore future cooperation.

Currently, Mexico exports  cotton to Bangladesh and imports textile from the nation but is eager to  diversify to include pharmaceutical products and information technology  products, the envoy added.

Mexico has a wide range of products  including tanned or crust hides and skins of bovines, fisheries such as  shrimp, dehydrated fruits, textiles and auto parts, and can link up  trade with Bangladesh in that line.

Referring to his meeting with  FBCCI, Federico said Mexico has free trade agreements with some of the  world’s largest countries including US, Canada, members of European  Union and a number of Latin American countries.

Therefore, he  said, investing in Mexico by Bangladeshi companies can be very  beneficial. Similarly, Mexican companies can also explore ways of  investment in Bangladesh. He also said Mexico would like business  delegations from both countries to visit each other to help the growth  of commercial relations.

In 2021, a Bangladeshi military  delegation attended the celebrations of Mexico’s 200 years of  independence and a Mexican military delegation also attended the  celebrations of Bangladesh’s golden jubilee of independence.

Salas said Mexico is looking at the possibility of gaining experience from Bangladesh in terms of UN peacekeeping.

On  the multilateral front, the diplomat said, Mexico and Bangladesh  collaborated in the areas of promoting migrant rights, and can further  work through G20 to channel the voices of the global south.

“I am  hoping that during the foreign minister level meeting of the G20 in  Delhi this March, delegations of our two countries can sit down and get  to understand each other’s points of views. As a G20 member, we can also  represent those concerns to the rest of the members.”

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