December 11, 2020 Source:  The Daily Star
Author: Unb, Dhaka 2 min read

‘Work plan prepared to tap into potential of blue economy’

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Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen yesterday said a work plan has been prepared that will act as a guideline to untap potentials of the blue economy.

“Bangladesh considers the blue economy as one of the cornerstones for its economic growth and socio-economic development,” he said.

Dr Momen said the blue economy was an integral part of the government’s election manifesto.

“We already have a lot of suggestions, recommendations, outcomes and discussions from meetings, workshops and seminars. Now, it is time to materialise all these, get into pragmatic actions and stop ecocide,” the minister said.

Dr Momen said it is high time to decide which marine sectors to prioritise, based on domestic needs and demands of the global market, and chart a course towards a new horizon, in partnership with the regional countries.

He was addressing an international webinar titled “Blue Economy in Post-Covid-19 Era: Resilience Strategies for the Coastal States” as the chief guest. It was organised by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University (BSMRMU).

Deputy Education Minister Barrister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, President of East-West Center, Hawaii Dr Richard R Vuylsteke and Vice Chancellor of BSMRMU Rear Admiral Khaled Iqbal also spoke.

The foreign minister said the US and Bangladesh cooperate closely on a range of issues, including economics, security, governance and development.

He said a virtual meeting was convened by US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach, and Adviser for Private Industry and Investment to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Salman F Rahman recently, with a view of developing a vision for advancing US-Bangladesh economic partnership.

“We hope we will soon enter into some tangible maritime cooperation framework under this [partnership],” Dr Momen said.

Bangladesh is the current vice-chair of Indian Ocean Rim Association and will assume the charges of chair in October, 2021.

Bangladesh is also the current President of the Council of the International Seabed Authority.

Dr Momen said Bangladesh promotes regional cooperation in fisheries management, sustainable utilisation of marine resources, environmental protection, disaster management and many other sectors through these regional organisations.

In fact, he said, in the context of Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh needs to develop a cooperative mechanism among the littoral states to promote collaboration and reap maximum benefits of the blue economy.