High Commissioner Benoit Préfontaine
Welcome to the High Commission of Canada in Bangladesh! I am honoured to represent Canada here and look forward to contributing to the strengthening of our shared values of:
- good governance
- human rights
We will also continue to work together on enhancing political and trade relations, and spurring further sustainable development.
Canada is proud of its partnership with Bangladesh, spanning the last 45 years, as the country has made unprecedented progress in key areas to improve the lives of its citizens. Working in partnership with the Government, Civil Society Organizations, and multilateral organizations, Canada has supported the delivery of critical services, including in the areas of education and health, to contribute to a brighter future. Canada has recently adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy which places the advancement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at the center of its programming. It is our belief that this is the most effective way to reduce poverty and build a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world.
Through our initiatives in Bangladesh, we are applying this approach by supporting the empowerment of women and girls to reach their full potential so that they can contribute to the development of their families and communities. In this context, Canada's support in Bangladesh focuses on:
- gender equality
- human rights
- systems building
- humanitarian response
As part of our engagement, there are also particular areas where Canada is focusing such as:
- child, early and forced marriage (CEFM)
- sexual and gender-based violence
- women’s empowerment
- the Rohingya refugee crisis
Canada is a trading nation and boosting commercial relations is a key Government of Canada priority. The Canada-Bangladesh relationship is diversifying into new areas including economic partnership. The significant increase in bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Bangladesh over the years, from under 600 million Canadian dollars in 2005 to around 2.4 billion Canadian dollars in 2016, is remarkable.
Canada has become one of the top exporters of agricultural commodities to Bangladesh, including:
- high quality wheat
- canola oil
There is potential for growth in other sectors such as:
- agriculture and agri-food
- industrial raw materials and machineries
- oil and gas
- information and communications technology
Canada’s expertise in areas such as sustainable technology can contribute greatly to the economic development of Bangladesh. Bangladesh has become the second largest ready-made garments exporter to Canada, and Bangladesh can take advantage of Canada’s duty-free and quota-free market access provided for the least developed countries to increase their reach within the Canadian market.
Canada has a deep commitment to education, and ranks among the world’s leaders in per capita spending on public education. Canada’s high level of education has proven to be a powerful contributor to the country’s high standard of living, its prosperity and its ability to innovate in areas such as culture and science. I am delighted that many Bangladeshis are studying in Canada and hope that more will join them. These students can earn a high-quality education that which will ultimately help Bangladesh while building people-to-people contacts between our countries.
I strongly encourage Canadians living in or visiting Bangladesh to sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service. In case of emergency, registrants receive consular alerts and information along with country travel advice and advisories.
Through this website, I hope you will find useful information on Canada and the services and activities of our High Commission. Please visit us often!
High Commissioner of Canada to Bangladesh
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