US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W. Mozena Saturday asserted that America's partnership with Bangladesh is now broader, deeper and stronger than ever and it goes from "strength to strength" with each passing day.
"Some of you may be surprised by my words...some of you may think that I am merely chanting diplomatic niceties... I speak of facts...clear facts that our partnership truly strengthens each day to the benefit of the people of both countries," he said.
The US ambassador was addressing a roundtable on "America Bangladesh Relations: Economic and Social Perspective" organized by Centre for Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) at Mexi Ind Hall, Concord Royal Court in city's Dhanmondi area.
Former adviser to caretaker government Dr Mirza Azizul Islam, former diplomat C.M. Shafi Sami, former ministers Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, G.M. Quader and Major (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, Ambassador Mohammad Zamir, bankers, business leaders and entrepreneurs joined the roundtable discussion.
M.S. Shekil Chowdhury, chairperson of Centre for Non-Resident Bangladeshis, presided over the discussion while economist Dr Mehbub Ali and NRB research fellow Wasif Chowdhury Rumi presented keynote papers.
Referring to the existing US-Bangladesh relations, Mozena said, "Never in my foreign service career have I known a more productive relationship than the America-Bangladesh partnership."
He said the partnership helps make Bangladesh historic achievements like slashing maternal and child mortality, reducing fertility rate, increasing food security, mitigating for the effect of climate change, strengthening diplomatic institutions, enhancing security and bolstering preparedness to respond to disaster.
About success in food production, he said, Bangladesh is now in fact an overflowing basket of agricultural bounty as the US partnership with Bangladesh has engaged over 2.2 million farmers on using new methods of fertilization to reduce fertilizer consumption while increasing yields.
"We all know that Bangladesh is exporting 50,000 tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka this year...what an achievement for a country once famously described as basket case," he added.
He said the partnership for strengthening democratic institutions and promoting respect for human rights has been working to bolster local government and other organizations of governance.
The envoy said the partnership is also helping the police transform the philosophy of policing to one, based on engagement with the community and it also is working with the RAB to introduce officers' conduct.
He said the Bangladeshi-American diaspora play an ever more important role in building the people-to-people ties that so strengthen America's partnership with Bangladesh.
In this connection, he urged them to explore investing their knowhow, their problem solving ability, mentor young Bangladeshi entrepreneurs and encouraging their Bangladeshi friends and family members to pursue education in the US.
He said the NRBs can invest in Bangladesh's very important sectors like energy exploration, power generation and distribution, IT sector development and agro-processing sector.
The other speakers of the roundtable said the Bangladesh-America relations are deep rooted and it should be further strengthened through exchange of visits of professionals, students and entrepreneurs from both the countries for the benefit of the two peoples.
They also placed emphasized on technology transfer and America's enhanced collaboration in the country's IT sector and restoration of GSP facilities for the garment industry.