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Bangladesh celebrates Independence Day, shares ‘parallel paths’ with Phl 

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By Marinel Peroy 

Emerging as a beacon of cooperation and solidarity, Bangladesh and the Philippines continue to form a strong bond with shared values and aspirations for mutual growth and prosperity. Historically, the Philippines was one of the Southeast Asian countries that recognized Bangladesh’s independence.

The 52 years of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Bangladesh continue to flourish through various cooperations and shared values such as enhancing economic collaboration, cultural exchanges, forging strategic partnerships, and upholding the international rule of law for regional stability.

In the celebration of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh’s 53rd Anniversary of Independence and National Day on March 26, held at the Dusit Thani Manila, some not comment facts were unveiled during the reception.

Bangladesh-Phl: Sharing common goals and values 

During his speech, Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Borhan Uddin shared that Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in South Asia, citing how their GDP grew by around $460 billion. This has been proven as upon entering the venue, guests were welcomed by photo displays in frame, signifying the key achievements of Bangladesh —-  the nation’s flourishing aquaculture, textile, shipbuilding, and rich agricultural sectors such as fruits, tea, and its golden fiber or alo known as “jutes”, among others.

“Bangladesh enjoys bilateral relations with the Philippines. Our relations are founded with mutual respect and many commonalities,” said Ambassador Uddin.

The envoy shared that the mutual ties between the two countries continue to strengthen by having Foreign Service activities through the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for diplomatic trainings and research practices.

The MOU as explained by the envoy, proves the strong bilateral relations with the two countries. He also underscored the common interests of Bangladesh and the Philipines in the international arena — particularly on climate change and migration. 

“Our next vision is to make the country a developed, knowledge-based, and smart Bangladesh by 2041, added Uddin. 

On the other hand, DFA’s Undersecretary Gary Domingo, from the Office of Civilian Security and Consular Affairs expressed how the country used the UN treaties and international conventions “including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as their guiding principle in the Indo-Pacific outlook in Bangladesh,” which deeply resonated with the Philippines. He also shared how the sincere friendship between countries continues to prosper by having ‘parallel paths’ with close cooperation.

“We are confident that the future of our partnership will be powered by even greater two-way trade, tourism, and investment, as we capitalize on our two fast growing economies and the dynamism and the optimism of our youthful populations,” added Domingo.

Mutual ties embedded like ‘jutes’

Aside from the diplomatic key achievements and similarities, the special occasion was commemorated as a myriad of Bangladesh food staples were served — showcasing the savory, spicy, and even sweet-flavored treats of the country. 

Guests were treated with Bengali Pilau Rice, Khichuri, Chana Daan (Lentil), Adana Kebab Lamb and Khebab Beef, Kelantanese Chicken BBQ with Peanut Sauce, Pan Seared Salmon with Grenobloise Sauce, Golapjam, and my personal favorite, Patishapta (Sweet Crepes). 

The vibrant spirit of Bangladeshi heritage was showcased through a special dance performance.  

As Asian countries in the global arena, both nations recognize the importance of international and regional cooperation as well as advancing shared interests to address common challenges. Indeed, Bangladesh and the Philippines work together to promote sustainable development while deepening their partnership anchored by resilience and mutual benefit for many years to come.

“I hope the future descendants of independent Bangladesh shall move forward shoulder to shoulder in order to hold their heads high in the civilized world.” — Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

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