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Dhaka, Jakarta sign MoU on health cooperation

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on health sector cooperation on Tuesday (Aug 5) on behalf of their respective governments.

The MOU is aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two countries in primary and secondary care, health resilience and health financing, among others, through training, exchange programs, joint research and transfer of technology etc. The ministers signed the MOU during a meeting on the sidelines of the 43rd ASEAN and 18th East Asia Summit currently taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia, said the Foreign Ministry.

“The conclusion of the health-cooperation MOU is yet another example of how both the countries can reap maximum benefits out of our excellent bilateral relations”, said Momen. The ministers expressed their hope that, with the proper implementation of this arrangement, the people-to-people communication between the two friendly nations would enhance further.

During the meeting, the ministers discussed various bilateral issues such as health, food security and other relevant areas. Health Minister Sadikin congratulated Bangladesh for her tremendous success in managing the Covid-19 crisis and for continuing the growth momentum despite. Minister Momen briefed Health Minister Sadikin on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s stellar contribution in establishing model community clinics dubbed “the Sheikh Hasina Initiative” as an example of the strength and capability of Bangladesh’s health-sector and its professionals.

Mentioning that Bangladeshi medical colleges are a great choice for many students from the neighbouring countries and beyond, Momen requested the Indonesian health minister for the mutual recognition of academic and professional certification for the benefit of both nations.

Indicating the existing imbalance in the bilateral trade volume and highlighting that Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical products are world class which are being exported to more than 150 countries, Momen requested the Indonesian side to import pharmaceutical products and raw materials from Bangladesh.

Easing the registration process for Bangladeshi pharmaceutical products in Indonesia would be helpful, he underscored. Minister Sadikin assured him of exploring ways for Indonesian direct investment in Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical sector.

The two ministers expressed their satisfaction over the long tradition of strong cooperation between the two countries in regional and international forums and committed to continue to work together on issues of mutual interests and concerns.

Dr. Momen is now visiting Jakarta to accompany Hon’ble President Mohammed Shahabuddin as the latter, at the invitation of President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, is participating in the 43rd ASEAN Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit – two grand events attended by top leaders from the Southeast Asia region and across the world.