Media, DSA figure in UK minister’s talks with editors
Mark Field, visiting British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, had a breakfast meeting with editors and senior journalists at the residence of the British High Commissioner in the city on Saturday to discuss the media landscape here and the impact of the Digital Security Act (DSA).
"An interesting meeting to start the day off, discussing with editors the media landscape here and the impact of the Digital Security Act. All agreed that a free and diverse media is vital for a healthy democracy," Minister Field tweeted after the meeting.
Field also visited the offices of Prothom Alo,
reputed to enjoy the largest circulation in print as well as online audience of any Bangladeshi in the world.
"Delighted to visit and speak with @ProthomAlo just now. Incredible to hear that its website is accessed by people in over 200 different countries around the world. A real demonstration of its value as a trusted news source to people in Bangladesh and beyond," he tweeted.
Field arrived here on Friday evening on a two-day visit to discuss how the UK can support and develop the higher education sector in Bangladesh.
Just after his arrival, the British minister in a Tweet massage said, "A pleasure to arrive in Dhaka and meet Robert C Dickson, our new High Commissioner to Bangladesh. Looking forward to seeing the work UK in Bangladesh does, and exploring the full breadth of the UK-Bangladesh relationship."
Field is the first UK government minister to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since the country's national election last December.
He will discuss how the UK can continue to support Bangladesh as it establishes itself as a Middle Income Country and will also raise with her governance issues and media freedom.
Discussions with a number of UK universities and local institutions are already taking place and the Minister will discuss how the process can be streamlined to ensure UK degree programmes can be run in Bangladesh through branch campuses, with the approval of the University Grants Commission and the Bangladesh Ministry of Education, according to British High Commission in Dhaka.
Since his arrival, the high commissioner has also taken every opportunity to highlight the British determination to break into the education sector, in particular higher education.
Minister Field said Bangladesh is changing rapidly, as demonstrated by its transition to Middle Income Country (MIC) status.
"Ensuring that economic success story continues means investing in its workforce and improving access to high-quality tertiary education. This is an area where our two countries can clearly work together for mutual benefit," he said in a statement.
During his visit, the Minister will also meet with the Bangladesh Cricket Team, ahead of England hosting the Cricket World Cup.