The Policy Times, Dhaka Bureau :
Bangladesh State Minister For Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam proposes strengthening intra OIC trade and initiating contract farming in the OIC Member States in Africa through contract farming.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammed Shahriar Alam, MP, meets the OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen at the OIC Secretariat in Jeddah today. They discussed the way forward for strengthening intra-OIC trade and economic ties among the OIC countries.
State Minister Shahriar emphasized increasing food security and resilience within OIC through joint agricultural project collaboration in African OIC member states. In such projects, Bangladesh could provide its technical know-how and workforce, affluent OIC member states may provide capital and finance, and African countries with reserves of arable land could provide their fertile land area for farming. This would be mutually beneficial for the OIC member states as proposed by Mr. Shahriar. OIC Secretary-General Dr.Othaimeen welcomed the proposal and informed he would explore the mechanism under OIC to facilitate such projects.
Dr. Othaimeen congratulated Bangladesh at its 50th anniversary of independence. He highly praised the remarkable sustained economic growth of Bangladesh carried out in last one decade under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He continuedthe recent UN decision to graduate Bangladesh from LDC category to the middle-income country is a significant milestone for Bangladesh. He said Bangladesh’s socio-economic success story and leadership on woman empowerment could be an example for many OIC member states to follow.
Both the dignitaries discussed the Rohingya refugee crisis at length and how OIC could reinforce its engagements for a durable solution to this crisis. State Minister thanked the Secretary-General for sending a high-level OIC delegation to Bangladesh in February 2021 to see the condition of the Rohingya refugees. Mr. Shahriar stressed on political and other supports to continue from the OIC member states until the issue is resolved. Secretary-General Dr. Othaimeen expressed his gratitude to the Bangladesh government for providing shelter to nearly 1.3 million Rohingya refugees and reiterated his commitment to do everything under his purview in resolving the issue.
State Minister Shahriar told Bangladesh would like to see OIC as a strengthened and competent organisation to address the issues of Muslim Ummah.
State Minister Shahriar praised the OIC’s timely decision to provide COVID vaccines to the OIC LDCs, which is much needed in this dire situation.
Earlier, the OIC Secretary General cordially received the Bangladesh delegation at his office. Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Javed Patwary, Director-General FM Borhan Uddin, Acting Consul General SM Anisul Haque were present at the meeting. State Minister Shariar Alam is in Saudi Arabia on his 3-day official visit and is expected to return to Bangladesh on 9 March 2021.