The Canadian High Commission in Bangladesh and the Institute for Policy, Advocacy, and Governance (IPAG) jointly organized a half-day Conclave on ‘Canada-Bangladesh Diplomatic Relations: 45 Years of Progress’ on February 25 (Saturday), 2017 at the Lakeshore Hotel, Gulshan. The conclave, participated by leading policymakers, experts, intellectuals, thought leaders and the business community, was an initiative to deliberate on future partnership between the two countries and expectations of Canada from institutions in Bangladesh.
The Inaugural Program was attended by Dr. Moshiur Rahman, Economic Affairs Adviser to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shahriar Alam, MP, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Robert McDougall, Executive Director, South Asia, Global Affairs Canada & Former High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Benoît-Pierre Laramée, High Commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh and Mr. Syed Munir Khasru, Chairman, IPAG. A short audio-visual, prepared by IPAG, was screened at the inaugural session and helped trace the inception of Canada-Bangladesh relations and its development over the years.
Dr. Moshiur Rahman, in his speech, highlighted how the relationship between the two countries has grown progressively over the last forty-five years. Robert McDougall mentioned how good governance and democracy is crucial for the development of Bangladesh. Canada, which was one of the first western countries to recognize Bangladesh in 1972, has been a consistent development partner and will continue to assist Bangladesh in realizing all its goals. State Minister Shahriar Alam lauded Canada’s role as a major development partner in rebuilding Bangladesh after its independence. Mr. Khasru, Chairman, IPAG observed that the bilateral ties between the two countries are based on the core values of democracy & diversity and has flourished over the years.
There were four concurrent sessions on the following themes: Trade & Investment, Development, Governance and Security.
Thematic presentations from IPAG were made by:
Fableeha Bushra Choudhury, IPAG presenting in the Trade & Investment Panel.
Kazi Mitul Mahmud, IPAG presenting in the Development Panel.
Avia Nahreen, IPAG presenting in the Governance Panel.
Makshudul A. M. Mondal, IPAG presenting in the SecurityPanel.
Mr. Khasru summed up the proceedings of during the Closing Session. In his closing remarks, the Canadian High Commissioner, Laramee expressed thanks to the participants for their valuable insights and suggestions on how the relationship between Canada and Bangladesh can be further strengthened in key areas.