The Second Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) between Bangladesh and Switzerland took place on 1 March in Dhaka, Bangladesh following the MoU signed in Bern in February 2012 on political consultations. Ambassador Mizanur Rahman, Additional Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led the Bangladesh delegation while Ambassador Johannes Matyassy, Assistant State Secretary for Asia and Pacific, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, led the Swiss side.
The Leader of Bangladesh delegation mentioned that our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s vision was to follow Switzerland as a role model and make Bangladesh a “Switzerland of the East”.
Bangladesh and Switzerland appreciated the establishment of the political consultation mechanism as this would make bilateral interaction possible on a regular basis.
Switzerland and Bangladesh discussed bilateral cooperation in various sectors including Trade and Investment, Development, Human Rights, Cultural Exchanges, Renewable Energy and Connectivity.
It was also stated by Bangladesh side that Bangladesh is going to co-host the South Asian Regional Consultation on “Climate Change, Disasters and Human Mobility in South Asia and Indian Ocean” along with Switzerland and Norway in Khulna from 3 to 5 April. Different governments of South Asian and IORA countries are expected to participate in the regional consultations which will be held as a part of the Nansen Initiative. The Swiss side appreciated Bangladesh for co-hosting the event.
Both delegations agreed to work on common values in the UN and other international and regional organizations including the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Both countries joined ASEM in November 2012.
Bangladesh and Switzerland agreed to continue to work together at global level in the areas of migration and climate negotiations. The next political consultation will take place in Bern, Switzerland.