The British High Commissioner held meetings with officials, civil society and business leaders including the Deputy Commissioner, Chairman of Chittagong Port and Managing Director Chittagong Dry Dock Limited, President of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Chittagong Metropolitan Police Commissioner to discuss strengthening the UK-Bangladesh bilateral relationship and the scope for greater cooperation on prosperity and opportunities for British businesses, and issues of economic and social development.
The High Commissioner visited the National Brokers Tea Auctioneers and the tea auction to gain an insight into Bangladesh’s tea industry, toured the modern and expanding manufacturing plant of Coats BD, a significant UK investment in Chittagong, and met BSRM representatives and the headmistress, staff and children benefitting from the British Council supported reading programme at the Burhani BSRM School. She also discussed support for British nationals living and visiting Chittagong with the local authority.
Alison Blake also called on the Commander Chittagong Naval Area and Commander Eastern Zone Coastguard, seeing vessels of the Bangladesh Navy’s Chittagong Fleet, visiting BNS Bijoy, a former Royal Navy vessel, and visiting the Eastern Zone Coast Guard Headquarters to learn more about the work of the Bangladesh Navy and Coastguard and their successful anti-piracy and smuggling operations.
She also paid her respects and thanked employees at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.
Concluding her visit Alison Blake said:
“The historic links between the UK and this great port city of Chittagong remain strong and vital for both of our countries. I saw for myself the connections that span business and commerce, education and development, security and defence, and sport, especially cricket. Our shared experiences and values, and our drive for greater trade and prosperity for all the citizens of both our countries, give us the best possible basis for strengthening our relationships even further. The UK has been a partner in the growth and development of Chittagong for more than 200 years. And, since we remain the same outward focused, global trading nation, long may it continue!”
The High Commissioner also met local journalists and hosted a reception for business and civil society leaders, senior officials and dignitaries.
Note to editors
- Alison Blake took up her appointment as High Commissioner in Dhaka in January this year. This was her first visit to Chittagong.
- There are around 240 UK companies registered in Bangladesh with approximately £1.3b of investment projects so far.
- The UK is the third largest destination for exports from Bangladesh (10% of Bangladesh’s global exports).
- The British people give more to our fellow Commonwealth country, Bangladesh, in direct grant donor assistance than any other international partner.
- Following the High Commissioner’s visit, BSRM announced to increase their funding to support British Council book reading programme engaging around 5000 students from ten schools in Chittagong.
- British High Commission operates a Consular Information corner for British Nationals in Chittagong (address: Rafique Tower, 8th Floor, 92 Agrabad C/A, Chittagong).