Italian PM stresses legal migration of workers from Bangladesh

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Tuesday stressed the need for migration of Bangladeshi workers in legal ways.

She put this emphasis at a bilateral meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“Bangladeshi workers doing very good work here. They have enough credibility. I don’t want illegal workers,” she was quoted as saying by Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen while briefing reporters after the meeting.

On her arrival at the Italian Prime Minister’s office, Palazzo Chigi, Sheikh Hasina was received by her Italian counterpart Meloni. Later, the Bangladesh premier was given a guard of honour there.

Many issues including undocumented Bangladeshi expatriates, bilateral trade and business, came up for discussion in the meeting held between the two leaders.

The Italian side said they don’t want the illegal Bangladeshis to stay in Italy as the local people don’t want it. “They opened the door for Bangladesh to send manpower in legal ways,” said Momen.

The Bangladesh PM said both documented and undocumented Bangladeshis are working for the welfare of the two countries.

But she said Bangladesh discourages illegal migration. “I maintain a zero tolerance policy to illegal migration,” she was quoted as telling Italian PM.

The Bangladesh side asked Italian authority to stop Bangladeshis who migrate to Italy through illegal channels from other countries.

Noting that her government is developing 100 economic zones and 39 hi-tech parks in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina asked Italy to invest in special zones and parks. “If you want, I offer you special economic zones,” she was quoted as saying.

The Italian side said Italy and Bangladesh can strengthen bilateral trade and business through joint collaboration.

Hasina asked Italy to ease the import process of leather goods from Bangladesh.

In response, the Italian side showed enough interest in this regard.

PM Hasina thanked Italy for extending support to Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue.

She asked Italy to embolden their support for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to their own motherland from Bangladesh.

When Hasina invited her to visit Bangladesh, the Italian PM accepted it saying that she would definitely visit Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, two instruments were exchanged between Bangladesh and Italy in presence of two prime ministers.

The documents — a memorandum on energy cooperation and a five-year cultural exchange programme — were exchanged between Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Italian Deputy Prime Minister and also Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani.

Under the MoU on energy cooperation, Italy will extend research support and investment on LNG, renewable energy, waste to energy and biofuel energy.

PM’s speechwriter Md Nazrul Islam and Bangladesh Ambassador to Italy Md Shameem Ahsan were present at the briefing.

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