West Midlands mayor Andy Street is currently in Bangladesh after visiting neighbouring India for a week.
More than one in ten of the West Midlands population is of Bangladeshi heritage and the UK is the country’s third biggest trading partner behind only the United States and Germany.
In his first visit to the independent nation, the mayor flew into the capital city Dhaka from Dehli in India on Sunday (November 13) for talks made up of West Midlands business and political leaders to promote opportunities for bilateral trade and investment.
During the three-day visit the, the mayor, whose role involves serving as a global ambassador for the West Midlands, is expected to meet with business leaders from many of the big corporations who have a presence in Bangladesh, as well as senior politicians including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Mayors of Dhaka.
He will also be meeting various business organisations and their members and take part in a panel discussion on developing smart cities.
Mr Street’s visit to India included trips to Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad to boost bilateral trade and investment. The UK has been trying to forge a free trade agreement with India and the fifth round of talks concluded in July 2022.
During his India visit, Street spoke to the automobile company - Mahindra & Mahindra - about their future plans, including a new factory in the West Midlands to bring motorcycle production back home. He also also visited the Bombay Stock Exchange - Asia’s oldest stock exchange - on November 9 during his Mumbai trip.
What did he say about the the visit?
The Mayor said: “After a packed agenda in India, I’m pleased to be making my first ever visit to Bangladesh.
“Given the size of the Bangladeshi community living in the West Midlands, I’m really looking forward to an exciting cultural, commercial and diplomatic itinerary that will unlock new opportunities for us in the months and years ahead.
“I was particularly pleased to have been able to visit the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum today to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”