Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Tuesday sought Finland’s support for Bangladesh’s candidacy for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
He made the request when Finland’s non-resident ambassador to Bangladesh, Ritva Koukku-Ronde, called him into her office on Tuesday, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.
In response, the Finnish Ambassador indicated that he would give due consideration to Bangladesh’s application for UNSC membership.
During the meeting, they both discussed ways to expand relations in the areas of trade and investment, climate action, SDGs, migration and mobility, education and research, renewable energies and digital cooperation.
The two sides also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues, including the Ukrainian conflict and its implications.
The Minister of State encouraged Finnish companies to take advantage of the attractive business opportunities existing in Bangladesh and discussed possible economic engagements between the two countries.
He also informed the Ambassador of Bangladesh’s willingness to work together in the areas of migration and mobility.
The Finnish envoy appreciated Bangladesh’s role in maintaining regional stability by hosting 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals and providing them with sustainable livelihoods and education.
She also commended Bangladesh’s well-recognized role in peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
The ambassador expressed his interest in establishing cooperation in the fields of building smart cities and smart ports.
She also expressed the interest of Finnish energy companies to collaborate with Bangladesh.
The Minister of State noted the need for increased cooperation in higher education, skills development and capacity building in key sectors between countries.
He also flagged the issue of visa difficulties faced by students wishing to travel to Finland for higher education.
The Ambassador expressed her desire to collaborate more in the higher education sector and assured to ease visa complexities shortly.
Both sides affirmed their willingness to continue the positive momentum in bilateral relations.