Speech by Ambassador Ashud Ahmed at the Bangladesh Independence Day Celebration, Athens 2023

Speech by the Ambassador of Bangladesh to Greece, H.E. Mr. Ashud Ahmed, on the occasion of the 52nd Independence Day of Bangladesh. March 21, 2023, Megaron Mousikis, Athens

Excellencies, Members of the diplomatic corpse

My dear Bangladeshi compatriots

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen 

Assalamu Alaikum, Kalispera and Good evening to you all. 

Thank you very much for joining our celebration of the 52nd Anniversary of the Independence and National Day of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. On this happy occasion, I would like to convey my greetings and felicitations to the Government and the friendly people of the Hellenic Republic as well as to my Bangladeshi compatriots.

On this auspicious day, I would like to pay my rich tributes to the memory of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who played the central leadership role in gaining our independence. I would also like to pay my deep respect to our valiant freedom fighters, who made supreme sacrifices for the cause of our independence.

Ladies & Gentleman,

You will be glad to know that Bangladesh, under the dynamic leadership of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is marching ahead and has become one of the fastest-growing economies of the world. Bangladesh is currently the 41st largest economy and will be the 25th largest economy by 2035. In a very short span of about 13 years, the nation has grown from being a 90-billion-dollar economy to a 460-billion-dollar economy. A champion of economic development and social reform, a role model for women empowerment, disaster management and climate change, Bangladesh is going to graduate soon from the LDC group to an upper-middle income country. “Vision-2041” and “Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100” are the two main blueprints of the current pro-people Government, the implementation of which will turn the Country into a developed and Smart nation with an enhanced ability to serve the world community in a more efficient way. Currently, Bangladesh is the second largest readymade garments producer in the world and our other prospective sectors like shipping, leather, jute and pharmaceutical products have already earned global acclamation.  ICT has immerged as one of the very potential sectors of Bangladesh’s economy.  

The government of Bangladesh is currently implementing a number of infrastructure development mega projects with a view to accelerate the ongoing industrialization process of the country. Among these mega projects, the 6.1 km long multipurpose bridge constructed over the mighty river Padma and the Metro rail has already been opened to traffic.

Bangladesh is now an attractive destination for foreign investors and our Greek friends can look for the very lucrative facilities and government incentives including available cheap and skilled labour for making investments in a good number of its potential and virgin sectors like infrastructure development, telecommunications, ICT, shipping and many more and take advantage of the market of its 170 million people as well as the big markets of neighboring India and China.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

Our bilateral relations with the Hellenic Republic are gradually boosted through high-level visits. The historic bilateral visit of Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen in 2019 has paved the way for further galvanizing our traditional relations. Again, after a little hiatus of Covid-19 pandemic, the Bangladesh Hon’ble minister for Expatriates’ Welfare & Overseas Employment Imran Ahmad paid a visit to Greece in November 2021 and signed a Declaration of Intent (DoI) with Greece, reflecting the intention of both countries for further streamlining the migration process. The Greek Migration & Asylum Minister His Excellency Mr. Notis Mitarachi also undertook his reciprocal visit to Bangladesh in February last year and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on migration and mobility for mutual economic benefits. 

OurHon’ble Minister of State for Cultural Affairs Mr. K M Khalid visited Greece last year and signed an Agreement for the development of culture and education paving the way for further interactions and collaborations between different cultural and educational institutions of the two countries. Our visiting cultural troupe comprising of renowned singers and dancers jointly performed with the Greek cultural troupe from the “Lyceum Club of Greek Women”, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of our two great civilizations. An Art delegation visited Greece and participated in the exhibition organized by the UNESCO Club in Greece and the Bangladesh Embassy.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

With a view to mark the occasion of the 50 years of our diplomatic relations, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and the Hon’ble Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have exchanged their respective greetings over a telephone talk reflecting their respective eagerness for taking our bilateral relations to a new height with particular emphasis on the areas of trade, health-governance, sound migration and cultural exchanges.

We are also expecting a number of visits at different levels to be undertaken by the delegation of our two countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a responsible peace-loving member of the UN and important regional and international organizations, Bangladesh has been actively contributing towards maintaining global peace and security through pursuing its foreign policy based on its cardinal principle of “Friendship to all and malice towards none.’’ Bangladesh is one of the major troop-contributing countries in the UN peacekeeping missions. Our country has already punched above its weight by playing its pioneering role in important global issues like climate change, migration, terrorism and sustainable development agenda of 2030 with its principle of “none should be left behind.” Bangladesh has successfully organized the “Peace Conference” in 2020 as part of the year-long celebrations of the birth centenary of our father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Two delegates from Greece participated in the said conference and actively contributed towards concluding “Dhaka Declaration” of the Conference.

Ladies and gentlemen,  

We are thankful to the government of the Hellenic Republic for kindly hosting a good number of Bangladeshi nationals who have been significantly contributing towards the economic development of Greece and Bangladesh. They are also acting as a cultural bridge and help establish people-to-people contact between our two countries.

I would also like to express my appreciation and deep gratitude to the government of the Hellenic Republic for kindly extending all support and cooperation to our Mission for promoting our bilateral relations.

Let me now say a few words in Bangla for our compatriots.

প্রিয় বাংলাদেশি ভাই ও বোনেরা,

আপনাদের সবাইকে মহান স্বাধীনতা দিবসের শুভেচ্ছা জানাচ্ছি। এই দিনে শ্রদ্ধার সাথে স্মরণ করছি জাতির পিতা বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমানকে। স্মরণ করছি ত্রিশ লক্ষ বীর শহীদদের। বঙ্গবন্ধু সোনার বাংলার স্বপ্ন বাস্তবায়ন করে যেতে পারেন নাই। তার  সুযোগ্য কন্যা মাননীয় প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা সেই স্বপ্ন বাস্তবায়নের পথে দেশকে এগিয়ে নিয়ে যাচ্ছেন ।

আসুন, ঐক্যবদ্ধ হয়ে দেশ গড়ার কাজে অবদান রাখার অঙ্গীকার করি।

Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,

Finally, I would like to thank you once again for your kind presence tonight.

Thank you all. Special thanks to the management of Megaro Mousikis and my colleagues in the Embassy for making today’s programme a success.

Long live Bangladesh-Greece Friendship!!

Efhasristo para poli!

Joy Bangla!

Read also: Celebration of the 52nd Independence Day of Bangladesh in Athens