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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2559

A good Kuwaiti gesture

Dhaka, 14 May, ( an extraordinary gesture to Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia during her two-day visit, Kuwait, the oil-rich Gulf state, assured Bangladesh of supplying petroleum products "on easy terms and conditions" when the price is soaring up and agreed "to lift all barriers" to recruiting manpower from here.

In fact, the Prime Minister's brief visit has been crowned with total success as she herself undertook the journey to request the Emir of Kuwait to grant Bangladesh one year credit for purchasing oil from the Gulf state at a concessional price that was immediately agreed and assured when the two leaders met and discussed the adverse impact of rising oil prices in international market across the world with particular reference to developing countries like Bangladesh.

The visit itself was considered a reflection and indication of special relationship between the two brotherly Muslim countries, particularly in the spirit of helping each other in the hours of need, as the Emir welcoming the Prime Minister as a sister reiterated his country's strong desire and commitment to build up closer friendly relations.

Kuwaiti Oil Minister has been quoted as saying "we are very sympathetic to Bangladesh in its difficulties caused due to the rise in fuel prices" and that has been reflected through immediate positive response from the highest level agreeing to supply fuel at easy terms and also at a concessional price.

Apart from the meeting with the Emir, Begum Zia had formal talks with Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who conveyed his government's decision of lifting all barriers to recruiting manpower from Bangladesh showing a gesture to her.

At present more than 200,000 Bangladeshi expatriates are working in Kuwait and contributing to the economy of both the countries, apart from the currently deployed Bangladesh troops under UN Peace Mission are there. With the lifting of all barriers, now recruitment of more manpower ranging from highly skilled professionals like engineers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, IT experts, management consultants down to skilled, semiskilled and unskilled workforce from Bangladesh would be wider and open. The Kuwait government is learnt to have expressed its keen interest to recruit skilled manpower from Bangladesh.

Faced with severe constraints at this critical situation of soaring global fuel price, Bangladesh has been in dire need to ensure supply of oil at easy terms and at concession price for which the Prime Minister's Kuwait visit was timely and urgently required. During the visit, the prime ministers of the two countries reviewed the whole gamut of bilateral relations with a view to further promoting cooperation through providing assistance and expanding trade and investment.

It is happy to note that Bangladesh and Kuwait agreed to increase trade, commerce and business relations between them. It has also been mentioned that Kuwaiti fund would be available for the proposed third Karnaphuli Bridge as negotiation is at the final stage. Kuwait has also agreed to invest in a power generation plant to be set up in Chittagong.

It may be noted here that Kuwait’s commitment of fund had made the construction of the first East-West national electric grid connector in the late seventies possible. No donor did want to commit fund first for that project which helped the transmission of electricity generated from the Eastern grid at cheaper costs to the Western grid where power generation was very costly due to non-availability of natural gas. The two brotherly countries would go a long way through cooperation with each other for their mutual benefit.

- INS+Asian Tribune -

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