Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday stressed the need for making best efforts to develop blue economies by the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member states.
"IORA member countries should put all-out efforts to develop the blue economies," she said.
The prime minister said this while a delegation of 12 IORA member countries had a meeting with her at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in the capital.
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the newsmen after the meeting. Bangladesh, as the next chair of the IORA, is hosting the 21st IORA Council of Ministers' (COM) meeting in Dhaka on Wednesday.
During the meeting, the delegation members also stressed the need for making a collective effort by IORA nations for development of blue economies.
Sheikh Hasina also put emphasis on strengthening the bilateral relations among the IORA countries.
The premier said, “Though there are enormous potentials, our intra-region investments are modest. There is ample scope for expanding the bilateral trade and investment relations among the IORA member countries."
The Prime Minister welcomed the delegation in Bangladesh to attend the 21st IORA Council of Ministers' (COM) meeting.
She said, "You are visiting the country at a time when we are celebrating the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman round the year. This visit has added value to the celebration of the birth centenary."
About controlling the coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister said they have successfully brought the Covid-19 pandemic by taking various timely and effective measures.
Due to the measures taken by her government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, she said, "The rate of economic growth is still robust."
The premier said, "We are making efforts to produce the Covid-19 vaccine."
Sheikh Hasina said her government has been working to transform Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous nation by 2041.
Speaking on the occasion, each of the delegation members highly praised the role of Sheikh Hasina in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and her strong role in the COP26 conference.
They also highly lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's dynamic leadership for Bangladesh's stunning development.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen moderated the meeting while Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus was present.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Comoros Dhoihir Dhoulkamal, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of South Africa Dr Pandor, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka Prof G.L Peiris, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries of Tanzania Mashimba Mashuri Ndaki, Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries of Tanzania Abdullah Hussein Kombo, Minister of State for South Asia, United Nations and the Commonwealth of FCDO, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, Chief Administrative Secretary of Kenya Ababu Namwamba, Permanent Secretary of Madagascar Ratsimandau Tahirimiakadaza, State Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Somalia Belal Mohamed Cusman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of USA Ambassador Kelly Keiderling and Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Real Admiral (Retd) Khurshed Alam, were present at the meeting.