The Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies (CBoBS) of Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) of Japan jointly organized an international conference on sustainable blue economy on 27-28 November at IUB.
The conference was titled "Ensuring a Sustainable Blue Economy in an open and interconnected Indo-Pacific Region: Japan-Bangladesh cooperation in Synergizing latent potentials among South & Southeast Asian Bay of Bengal Littoral and Adjacent Countries," read a media release.
Speaking at the seminar virtually, Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen, said, "Bangladesh aspires to become a developed country by 2040 and Japan has been consistently contributing through significant investments in the Bay of Bengal."
Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa, who joined the event virtually, said, "Bangladesh is an important partner in realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific, playing a key role in the development of the region, which is a strategic point connecting South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent."
IUB Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Niaz Ahmed Khan, Ph.D, who chaired the opening session, said, "The importance of understanding the blue economy, especially within the broader context, exploring our very own Bay of Bengal is becoming more and more clear to us."
Praising Bangladesh for making blue economy a national priority, Special Guest Dr. Atsushi Sunami, President of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, said, "Strong collaboration is needed between the two nations [Bangladesh and Japan] for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific."
Dr. Shamsul Alam, State Minister for Planning of Bangladesh; Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Ambassador Mashfee Binte Shams, Secretary (East), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh; Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue; Professor Imtiaz Ahmed from the Department of International Relation, University of Dhaka; Dr. Zaidi Sattar, Chairman, Policy Research Institute (PRI); Mr. Md. Abul Kalam Azad, former principal secretary and coordinator of SDGs at the Prime Minister's Office; and Mr. Tomohide Ichiguchi, Chief Representative, JICA Bangladesh; and Ambassador (retd.) Tariq Karim, Director CBoBS, IUB, spoke in the different sessions over the two days.