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Prime Minister Seeks Australia’s Technological Support to Boost Agricultural Yield

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought Australia’s cooperation to increase agricultural production in Bangladesh, leveraging the country’s advanced technological expertise in agriculture. She emphasized the necessity of boosting production due to the decreasing amount of arable land and the growing population. “Australia can help us in this regard because it is very advanced in agricultural technology,” she remarked during a courtesy call by Australian Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong at the Prime Minister’s official residence, Ganabhaban, this afternoon.

The Prime Minister highlighted Bangladesh’s success in agricultural production over the past 15 years, with a significant increase in yield. However, she believes Australia can assist Bangladesh in further enhancing its production. Following the meeting, Prime Minister’s Speech Writer Md. Nazrul Islam briefed the press.

Prime Minister Hasina expressed her disappointment regarding the unfulfilled promises of developed countries on climate issues. She mentioned that despite these unmet promises, Bangladesh has taken proactive measures by establishing its own Climate Trust Fund using domestic resources to protect its people. “We have not been idle; instead, we have created our own Climate Trust Fund to save our people,” she said. Emphasizing Bangladesh’s vulnerability to climate change, she noted the frequent occurrences of cyclones and floods.

On the topics of the Rohingya and Palestinian issues, the Prime Minister reiterated Bangladesh’s stance against any form of war or conflict. “We want dialogue and negotiations to resolve all conflicts. Bangladesh is trying to solve the Rohingya problem by repatriating them to their homeland in Myanmar through bilateral talks,” she stated. Despite seeking international support, significant progress in repatriation efforts has not been achieved.

Highlighting Bangladesh’s high population density and limited land area, Sheikh Hasina stated that her government has focused on job creation. “We are setting up 100 economic zones across the country. Australian entrepreneurs can invest there and benefit from the investment-friendly facilities,” she added.

She also pointed out that due to timely and practical measures by the government, the poverty rate has been reduced from 41% to 17.7%, and the extreme poverty rate from 25% to 5.7%.

Both leaders discussed various issues of mutual interest, including agriculture, education, and trade, and emphasized the importance of increasing communication and partnerships between the two countries.

Prime Minister Hasina mentioned that approximately 90,000 Bangladeshis currently reside in Australia, contributing to its economy. She requested the Australian Foreign Minister to increase opportunities for more Bangladeshi students to study in Australia.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong emphasized strengthening and deepening the bilateral relationship between the two countries. She is on a two-day official visit to Dhaka to explore ways to enhance bilateral relations and promote regional peace, prosperity, and security.

The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister’s Advisor for Private Industry and Investment, Salman Fazlur Rahman, Ambassador-at-Large Mohammad Ziauddin, and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Md. Tofazzal Hossain Mia.

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