British Deputy High Commissioner Javed Patel has described Sylhet as one of the most beautiful cities in Bangladesh where the ties between the UK and Bangladesh are as strong as ever.
“I am delighted to visit Sylhet,” he said adding that many British-Bangladeshis have direct connections to this city and it’s great to finally experience the culture and traditions for himself.
“We look forward to celebrating our exceptional bond with Bangladesh, as this wonderful country celebrates its 50th anniversary this year,” said the Deputy High commissioner.
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Patel visited Sylhet this week, his first visit to Sylhet since he joined the British High Commission in Dhaka in February 2020.
During his visit, Patel reflected on the long friendship between the UK and Bangladesh and met local officials to discuss opportunities for further shared growth.
On the first day of his visit, Patel met City Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury.
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Besides discussing longstanding people-to people ties, they talked about the UK’s role working with the Sylhet City Corporation and United Nations Development Programme to alleviate urban poverty, according to British High Commission in Dhaka.
The programme comprises a range of activities including community mobilization, COVID-19 awareness, nutritional support and livelihood grants.
To date, the programme has helped around 110,00 people currently living in Sylhet.
Patel also met the Sylhet Divisional Commissioner, Md Mashiur Rahman, and DIG of Sylhet Range, Mofiz Uddin Ahammed PPM.
While in Sylhet, Patel visited the new British Council Office and observed the activities of the UK exam administration.
He also visited the Khadimnagar tea estate, the popular tourist spot Jaflong, and met Immigration and Customs Officers at the Tamabil border post.
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Around 600,000 people of Bangladeshi origin currently live in the UK, with most coming from Sylhet division.
The UK is the third biggest bilateral donor overall in Bangladesh and Bangladesh’s third-largest single country export partner.
In 2019, Bangladesh exported goods to the UK worth £3.3 billion.
The UK is also the second largest cumulative investor in Bangladesh with £1.9 billion of investments.
The UK, the second largest donor to the international response to the Rohingya refugee crisis, is providing life-sustaining humanitarian aid to almost a million Rohingya refugees and vulnerable host communities in Cox’s Bazar. Since the last refugee influx in 2017, the UK has contributed close to £300 million.