Sustainability, Inclusiveness and Climate Change

Swiss ambassador names 3 challenges for Bangladesh in coming days in interview with

Nathalie Chuard


Nathalie Chuard

Bangladesh and Switzerland today celebrate 50 years of bilateral relations. The relationship is evolving as Bangladesh prepares to become a developed country by 2041. Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard spoke to The Daily Star to share her views on what the future holds. reserved for both countries.

DS: How would you define the Bangladesh-Switzerland relationship?

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Chubby: Since Switzerland officially recognized Bangladesh, relations between the two countries have evolved with the evolution of the world. On this august occasion, I really look forward to taking our relationship to the next level.

DS: What are the main lines of cooperation between the two countries?

Chubby: During and after the 1971 war, Switzerland concentrated mainly on humanitarian aid. It continued. We are also helping Bangladesh respond to the Rohingya crisis right now. Over time, Switzerland has supported many innovative programs in the areas of democratic governance, agriculture, income and economic development or labor migration. Now we focus on trade and investment. There is a huge prospect to expand our economic ties even further and I see only positive developments if and when we can effectively combine Swiss excellence in technology with the resilient entrepreneurial spirit of Bangladesh.

DS: What is the amount of bilateral trade and development cooperation?

Chubby: Over the past 50 years, Switzerland has invested more than a billion dollars in development aid and we have just crossed the symbolic threshold of one billion dollars in annual bilateral trade in goods. Large Swiss companies here have invested hundreds of millions so far. They provide essential goods, services, technologies, innovations and jobs. Whether in terms of trade, investment, development cooperation or humanitarian aid, if you look at Switzerland’s contributions per capita, we are among Bangladesh’s leading partners. I am confident that this commitment will continue and thrive in the years to come.

DS: What are the potential areas of cooperation in the years to come?

Chubby: Bangladesh has adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and graduating from LDC status by 2026 is a milestone. It recognizes the impressive socio-economic achievements of Bangladesh. Today, the country is at a crossroads. There is a need to prepare for the post-graduation era, where some market access preferences may cease to exist, as well as to address various structural reforms to improve market predictability and demonstrate economic governance solid. This preparation is all the more important as our whole world is turned upside down by the Covid-19 pandemic; and with its consequences, the sustainability of your achievements – particularly in the areas of poverty reduction and social development – ​​may be called into question. Therefore, maintaining the momentum of economic growth while making it more inclusive, greener and more resilient to climate and shocks is at the heart of Switzerland’s commitment for the years to come.

DS: Do you see any challenges in the bilateral relationship?

Chubby: The entire planet is today facing daunting challenges: the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, the endless struggle for peace, democracy, social justice and human rights, for n cite just a few. This is why we must work together and engage in open and honest dialogue, where we can learn from each other and find common paths towards sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda is the right framework for our bilateral and global cooperation. In particular, SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions is crucial, a goal on which I hope our two countries will work more closely in the future. Switzerland is convinced that global crises can be better managed when we come together. Especially in view of what is happening in the world today, multilateralism matters more than ever. Switzerland is a candidate for a seat on the UN Security Council for 2023-2024, and I look forward to working with your government to continue our actions in favor of peace, international law, sustainable development and human rights. the man.

DS: As a development partner, what are your suggestions for Bangladesh?

Chuard: There are three words that come to mind: sustainability, inclusiveness and climate change. The recipes that have brought Bangladesh this far are probably not enough to take the next big steps. Inclusiveness is certainly at the heart of the 2030 Agenda. Finally, your delta country is particularly affected by climate change, with millions of people and livelihoods at risk. These are great challenges, but they also come with opportunities. It has always been a strength of Bangladesh to retool quickly. Retooling and redesigning will be crucial in the years to come.

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