H.E Vice President Faisal Naseem has today met with the Advisor to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, the Minister of Expatriate's Welfare and Overseas Employment, the Minister of Youth and Sports, and the Minister of Education, at separate meetings, as part of his ongoing official visit to the People's Republic of Bangladesh.
The Vice President first met with H.E Salman Rahman, Advisor to the Bangladeshi Prime Minister. They discussed the current situation of the Maldives and Bangladesh following the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on both countries. The Vice President highlighted the Maldives' priority to improve decentralised healthcare, and the ensuing need for further technical and vocational training as well as higher education opportunities to specialise in different areas of the healthcare system. They also discussed opportunities to collaborate in the provision of pharmaceutical products to the Maldives.
At the meeting with the Bangladeshi Minister of Expatriate's Welfare and Overseas Employment, H.E Imran Ahmad, the Vice President detailed the Maldives goal to regularise all expatriate workers in the Maldives at the earliest. Noting that unregularised workers may be more easily exploited, the Vice President requested the aid of the Ministry in regularising all Bangladeshi workers in the Maldives. They further discussed partnerships for technical training and skills development programmes as well as work exchange programmes to help employees build critical skills.
Vice President Faisal Naseem next met with the Minister of Youth and Sports of Bangladesh, H.E Md. Zahid Ahsan Russel. They discussed plans to initiate talks to exchange further agreements for bilateral sports development, athlete exchanges, special training camps for athletes and agreements to provide expert assistance in various areas of the sports sector. The Minister praised the performance by Dheena, the 14-year old Maldivian girl who won the gold medal for the Maldives during the 2019 Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG), noting the potential of youth athletes in the Maldives. The Vice President discussed the reinvigoration of cricket in the Maldives, stating that an all-star Bangladeshi cricket team coming to play in the Maldives would draw the attention of sports-oriented youth and individuals towards cricket.
The next Bangladeshi cabinet member to meet with the Vice President today was the Minister of Education, H.E Dr Dipu Moni. The Vice President noted during the meeting that the Maldives required assistance from the Bangladeshi government to further improve education opportunities to specialise in fields such as healthcare and engineering, and in building technical expertise for creating standard practises at educational regulatory bodies. Additionally, they discussed scholarship opportunities for Maldivian students from Bangladeshi institutions.
Following the meetings with the Advisor to the Prime Minister and cabinet members, the Vice President met with Mr Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Chairman of the South East Asian Foundation (SEACO), where he accepted the letter offering a scholarship opportunity for two underprivileged Maldivian students at Chittagong University. Next, he met with Prof. Dr Md. Sultan Mahmud, Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Asia Pacific, and accepted the offer of a fully sponsored scholarship for one Maldivian student and a partial fee waiver for one more Maldivian student. Following this, the Vice President met with Mr Rajiv Prasad Shaha, the Managing Director of Kumudini Welfare Trust, and accepted the Offer of Special Scholarship for five Maldivian students for Bachelors of Dentistry (BDS) and two Maldivian students for Master of Science (MSc) in Nursing.
The Vice President is accompanied on his current official visit to Bangladesh by a delegation of cabinet ministers and high-level officials from the President's Office and the government.