Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has expressed hope that the Bangladesh-US "Economic Partnership Consultation Mechanism" will be an effective platform to facilitate cooperation and people-to-people ties between the two nations.

To further consolidate the economic partnership, the foreign minister said, the two countries established the mechanism' which held its first meeting virtually in September, 2020 and the second one is scheduled to be held on June 2, 2022.

"We heartily believe that our bilateral relations with the US will flourish in the coming days and will certainly contribute to the socio-economic development of the nation," Momen said, adding that he is confident that these ties would continue to grow in the next 50 years.

The US-Bangladesh Business Council was launched last year to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties.

The foreign minister made the remarks at a reception in Washington on Monday marking the 50 years of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and the US.

Lawmakers Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Nahim Razzaq, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Secretary (West) Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury Bangladesh Ambassador to the US M Shahidul Islam, former Ambassador Tariq A Karim, Deputy Administrator, USAID Isobel Coleman, representatives from the US Government, private sector and civil society joined.

The foreign minister said their government level engagements have been complimented by a growing people-to-people connectivity as well as increasing interaction between various organizations.

The sizable number of Bangladesh Diaspora scattered all across the USA act as an essential bridge between the two nations, he said.

The foundation of this warm bilateral relationship was laid down by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman when he visited the country in October 1974 and met the US President, Momen recalled.

Since then, he said, they have converged in an expanding collaboration in the pursuit of common foreign policy objectives, both bilaterally and globally.

Momen thanked the government of the USA for the persistent commitment and continued efforts towards a durable solution of the Rohingya crisis.

"The USA is the leading single contributor of humanitarian assistance in response to the Rohingya crisis. However, we think the US can do a lot more for a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis," he said.

Over the decades, this relationship has expanded in depth and dimensions, Momen said, adding that the USA is now one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment into Bangladesh.

"However, we would like to see that US investment in Bangladesh diversifies incorporating other sectors like ICT, agro-processing, renewable energy etc," he said.

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