Germany has praised Bangladesh saying the economy of the “up-and-coming” country continues to grow rapidly, even during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the poverty rate has been halved since 2000.
“In a rapidly developing region, Bangladesh is now an important economic and political partner for Germany,” said the German Federal Foreign Ministry in a statement on the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Germany.
By 2026, Bangladesh will officially leave the status of a Least Developed Country (LDC), and by 2041, the country aims to become a high-income industrialized country (HIC).
“For 50 years, Germany has been working closely with Bangladesh in development cooperation,” said the German foreign ministry on Thursday.
Today, the focus of the bilateral cooperation lies on managing the consequences of climate change, as well as ways to achieve sustainable economic growth and stability in the region.
On February 4, 1972, the Federal Republic of Germany was the first European country to recognise Bangladesh and to establish diplomatic relations.
The existing Consulate-General in Dhaka was transformed into an Embassy and relations at ambassadorial level were established.
Germany has contributed around 3 billion euros to bilateral development projects in Bangladesh. The next bilateral consultations are scheduled for this year.
“The focus of the cooperation is adaptation to the consequences of climate change and climate protection measures aimed at making Bangladesh’s dynamic growth sustainable,” according to the statement.
In addition, Bangladesh is a pilot country for the Federal Foreign Office in which it is successfully supporting measures for early warning and risk prevention in the event of natural disasters, it said.
Bangladesh is already exposed to a number of hydro meteorological and seismic risks and is increasingly having to cope with the consequences of climate change.
Some 10% of the country is no more than one meter above sea level, and around 25 million people live in the coastal regions, according to the statement. “Their livelihoods are threatened by flooding, monsoon storms and soil salinization.”
Bangladesh’s economic success is primarily based on its textile industry, which accounts for 10% of the gross national product and 80% of the export earnings – Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of textiles.
Germany, as the second largest importer of products from Bangladesh, is a close economic partner of the country.
This also means that the German economy has the responsibility to work with the governments of both countries to ensure compliance with fundamental social and environmental standards in production. Germany and Bangladesh are therefore in close bilateral dialogue.
Despite its high population density, Germany said, Bangladesh welcomed over 900,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar in 2017.
“Their situation remains extremely difficult. With more than 700,000 residents, the camp in Cox’s Bazar is the largest refugee camp in the world. Germany supports Bangladesh’s efforts through, among others, humanitarian assistance and development cooperation funds,” said the statement.