National, Front Page

Portugal to ease visa processing for Bangladeshis: Alam


By BSS
Published : 18 Nov 2022 09:41 PM

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam Friday said the Portuguese government would ease visa processing for Bangladeshi nationals especially for the relatives of expatriate Bangladeshis those have been residing in Portugal.     

“Steps will be taken to ease the visa processing especially to check the delayed time and reduce visa cost,” he told media after attending a seminar along with visiting Portuguese secretary of state Dr Francisco in the capital.

In the seminar Alam said Bangladeshi nationals face certain constraints in regard to visas - especially for their family members - in the absence of any Portuguese diplomatic or consular mission in Bangladesh.

“We are assured by Dr. André that his administration will work towards finding a pragmatic solution to the issue in the near future,” he said adding that it will have a huge qualitative difference in the bilateral ties of the two countries.  

Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organised the seminar titled “Bangladesh-Portugal Relations: Quest for Deeper Bilateral Cooperation” as part of its Eminent Person Lecture Series (EPLS).

Alam said Bangladesh would welcome visible Portuguese investments and expertise in the blue economy, including exploration of the potentials for offshore wind power generation.

Portugal’s large-scale and judicious investment in renewable energy over the past years has largely cushioned it from the present energy crisis around the world, he said.

The state minister said Bangladesh is keen to established direct shipping linkage with Portugal to expedite the trade and commerce relations.

“We have many untapped potentials for economic cooperation between our two countries. We believe that there are opportunities for further expanding two-way investments in each other’s countries,” he added.

Alam hoped that Portugal would play a catalytic role over time in realizing Bangladesh’s efforts to take its engagements with the EU towards a more strategic direction.

“It is reassuring for us that Portugal is favourably disposed to Bangladesh’s obtaining the GSP+ facility in the EU market beyond 2029.,” said the state minister.

He urged Portugal to maintain its voice and support for humanitarian assistance, justice and accountability, and safe and dignified repatriation of the Rohingyas.

Bangladesh thanked Portugal for its forward-leaning approach to climate action, including for its support for the ‘loss and damage’ agenda.

“We look forward to working with Portugal on conserving and protecting our oceans from climate change impacts. We have taken due note of Portugal’s desire to serve the cause of international peace and security as an elected member of the UN Security Council in 2027-28,” he said.

The state minister laid emphasis on continued investment in enhancing people-to-people connectivity between the two countries.

Senior officials from different ministries, ambassadors, high commissioners, former

diplomats, senior military officials, media, researchers, businesspeople, teachers, and students from various universities, representatives from different think tanks, international organisations, participated in the seminar.

Last evening, Bangladesh and Portugal held the 2nd Political Consultations at the foreign ministry where Alam and André led the delegations on behalf of their respective sides.

State Secretary André is now on a three day visit to Bangladesh while he expressed interest in planning ahead for observing the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Portugal in 2024.