President Abdul Hamid, now on China visit, said Bangladesh wants to be a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and hoped that APEC will soon lift its existing moratorium on including new members.
“Bangladesh has already expressed its keen interest to become an APEC member, and is hopeful that APEC will consider lifting soon the existing moratorium on including new members,” he said.
According to reports reached in Dhaka, the Bangladesh President urged the APEC body while he was addressing a session titled 'The region beyond APEC: Opportunities for growth; opportunities for cooperation’ at the APEC CEO Summit at the National Convention Centre at Beijing on Sunday.
“This is indeed important for the countries of the Asia-Pacific region to follow the suite of other established regional economic blocs around the globe,” the President said adding, APEC’s trade facilitation efforts, especially in the form of the “Trade Facilitation Action Plan”, is a commendable step to this end.
The President said this is important for the APEC members as well as non-APEC countries in this region to formulate a framework of cooperation for our mutual benefits.
Hamid, however, said a strong political will is needed for an effective fundamental reform as it is essential for lifting world economic growth on a sustained basis.
“Bangladesh, by all its means and willingness, stands ready to participate with its friends in Asia-Pacific region and beyond in any effort to achieve progress in this regard, both bilaterally and multilaterally, through multiple but complementary efforts,” the President told his audience.
He went on saying, “We believe attaining sustainable economic growth is of the benefits of the humanity, and the ultimate means of achieving a poverty and exclusion-free world.”
Mentioning Bangladesh’s plan to establish a Deep Sea Port and a third Sea Port , a new world-class international airport and of building extended road and rail connectivity with its neighboring countries, Hamid said, “We’re hopeful that Bangladesh would emerge as a major transportation hub, containing an extensive rail, road, air and sea connectivity.”
The President underscored the need for looking forward to improving the living standards and education levels through sustainable economic growth in the Asia-pacific region.
“For that, we need to foster a sense of community and an appreciation of shared interests among nations in the region. The proposed ‘Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)’ will create a free trade zone that would considerably expand commerce and economic growth in the region,” he added.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, President of Lao PDR Choummaly Sayasone and Myanmar President Thein Sein, among others, addressed the session moderated by executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Shamsad Akhtar.
President urges APEC to make BD as its member