SINGAPORE: Tagore Avenue along Yio Chu Kang road was named after Rabindranath Tagore – the first Asian Nobel Literature laureate. He also composed the Bangladesh national anthem.

His works continue to bring generations of Singaporeans and Bangladeshis together through an appreciation of a shared cultural heritage.

The relations between both countries will be further strengthened as the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is in Singapore for her first official visit, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday (Mar 12) as he hosted Madam Hasina for lunch at the Istana.

Both leaders also witnessed the signing of two memoranda of understandings (MOUs) which will help businesses and improve bilateral relations.

These include the Singapore-Bangladesh Air Services Agreement, signed between the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and the Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority Board, which will allow passenger and cargo services between both countries to be expanded.

The other is an MOU on public-private partnership, signed by IE Singapore and the Public Private Partnership Authority of Bangladesh, aimed at helping Singapore companies, including SMEs, enter the fast-growing market.

Mr Lee said: “Singapore is a maritime nation situated between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Therefore we should do more together. Singapore-based companies are keen on the growing Bangladesh market. The MOU on public-private partnership will facilitate more investments by Singapore companies in Bangladesh, particularly in the power, connectivity and infrastructure sectors.

“Sembcorp is one of the largest investors in the energy sector with over US$1.1 billion invested in power plants while PSA is interested to explore opportunities in Chittagong port.”

In her speech, Mdm Hasina spoke about the friendly ties Bangladesh and Singapore have enjoyed since the establishment of diplomatic relations in February 1972 and said she is happy to see a growing interest and engagement of Singaporean companies in Bangladesh today.

“Bangladesh and Singapore belong to different levels of development. But we can complement each other in our economic pursuit,” she said.

“In Singapore, you have capital, advanced technology and know-how while in Bangladesh, we have a large workforce. Moreover, a large section of our population is young and educated. These comparative advantages may be harnessed to our mutual benefit.”

She added that Singapore continues to be a favourite destination for Bangladeshi workers and hopes that Singapore will continue to provide them with a decent work atmosphere.

Mdm Hasina is expected to attend the Bangladesh-Singapore Business Forum and a business roundtable on Tuesday and will stay in Singapore until Wednesday.

Source: CNA/ng

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