Italy Eyes Stronger Economic Ties with Bangladesh
Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Abdul Momen (Photo Credits: IANS)

Rome, October 28: Italian Foreign Ministry officials held talks here on Monday with Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Abdul Momen in a bid to boost bilateral economic relations, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Several Italian companies, especially in the textiles sectors, have operations in Bangladesh, and the government hopes that bilateral business ties can be "intensified", Foreign Undersecretary Manlio Di Di Stefano noted during his meeting with Momen, according to the statement. France and Italy Embroiled in Massive Diplomatic Spat.

Italian defence companies are also taking part in competitive tenders for major contracts in Bangladesh, and the government hopes they will be successful, he added.

Di Stefano acknowledged the positive contribution that the Bengali diaspora (140,000 people, the largest community in continental Europe) makes to the Italian economy and society, according to the statement.

Di Stefano also praised the government of Bangladesh's humanitarian response to the Rohingya refugee crisis. In what has become Asia's biggest refugee crisis in decades, some 700,000 Rohinghya Muslims have fled from Myanmar's Rakhine state since 2017 and taken shelter in neighbouring Bangladesh.

A political solution to the Rohingya refugee crisis must be found and "responsibilities for the ongoing tragedy need to be to established," Di Stefano and Momen agreed.

Allegations of killings, torture, arson and rape of Rohingya civilians by Myanmar security services and pro-government vigilante mobs have been described as possible genocide by the UN.