Diplomacy in the 21st Century: A Synopsis on Germany and Bangladesh

MD Shiyan Sadik: A student researcher by passion and a debater by practice. Some of the notable publications: A paper titled “Automation: Fear or Boon ” was shortlisted for a paper presentation in  16th Economix- an undergraduate paper competition organized by University Indonesia. Another Paper titled “Industrial Growth and Inequality in Bangladesh: Seeing the  Challenges through an Automated RMG Sector” won second best paper in 1st Bangladesh Economics Summit 2018. It was published in September 2019 in “Bangladesh Students Digest on Economics and Development Volume 2.0”. A research essay titled “South Asian White Economy” was published in Equilibrium- Volume 2.0, North South University.

Sakif Al Ehsan Khan: A student researcher of public administration (major), worked in several papers.

Bangladesh | June 27, 2020 | Student Essay

Germany and Bangladesh share a friendly relation with each other from the emergence of liberated Bangladesh. Germany is the first European country and third country in the world to recognize Bangladesh as an independent country. This information reveals the fact that Bangladesh and Germany maintain warm and friendly relation since long ago. Recognition from a country like Germany which is regarded as one of the most polished super power in the world gave Bangladesh a lot of support and backup to represent itself on the global arena. The relationship between these two countries has not been confined only in historical terms. Rather as time went by the metric of relationship started meeting new benchmarks. Germany is only few countries of the world where Bangladesh receives duty free access in the market. Over the years, such advantages provided by the Government of Germany has enabled Bangladeshi businessmen and the Government of Bangladesh to succeed economically. As the economy of Bangladesh is largely dependent on remittance, such sort of advantage carries out to more possible potential business ventures. This has been made possible due to the historical basis of Bangladesh-Germany relationship.

Being the superpower of European Union and 5th most powerful economy in the world, Germany is considered as one of the solid allies of Bangladesh in terms of development projects, trade and cultural cooperation. After the official announcement of diplomatic ties in 1972, both countries cemented the bi lateral relationship in depth and dimension. In terms of large surplus recorded by trade analysts of Bangladesh, Germany is the largest trading partner in Europe and second largest globally after US. In spite of being a geographically small country, Bangladesh ranks as the 37th trading partner of Germany for exporting textile products (Readymade Garments) and importing machineries and electronics. Germany provided 2.6 Billion Euros for bilateral development project in Bangladesh. As an organized platform and mediator, The Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry focuses on the democratic practices, governance structure and development projects by availing international funds, non-payable grants and expert guidance.  Bangladesh has been an integral part of German Development Cooperation, which made an interim commitment of  85 million euros in 2019, prioritizing healthcare including family planning, economic reform and development of the market system through boosting of private sector, renewable and efficient energy, combat climate changes and proper institutionalizations (governance, law and justice). With a goal of deepening the relationship between two countries, the German Ambassador to Bangladesh, Peter Fahrenholtz, stated in an interview about the bureaucratic complexity and corruption drawbacks in the institutions of Bangladesh which hinders investment from German companies. According to business experts, an economies of scale can be achieved my installing automobile assembling factories of Germany in Bangladesh, which will provide affordable brand new cars to middle class people-enriching their lifestyle. By 2012, GTZ funded 380000 solar home panels and 64000 biogas plants and within 5 years, the global project Energizing Development (EnDev) was launched covering electricity for 4 million people of Bangladesh.

The relation of Bangla literature, philosophy, and approach with Germany is almost century old. Starting from the visit of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore to a huge supporter base of German football, Bangladesh and Germany shares an amicable bonding through different cultural exchange programs. Institute of modern language, University of Dhaka recognizes German as the second most popular foreign language after French among the students. With more than 5000 Bangladeshis currently living in Germany, The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) initiated scholarships and grants for undergraduate and graduate students for encouraging research in tertiary level). In Bangladesh, the Goethe Institute offers a variety of cultural exchange functions through workshops and presentations on films, seminars and lectures on socio-political subjects as well as on aspects of pop culture, theatre presence, and exhibitions of German and Bangladeshi artists. Last year, an initiative titled “Schools: Partners for the Future,” in collaboration with Oxford International School and South Point School was launched where the mentors of the affiliated schools are in Germany to continue their German language course which was started in Bangladesh. There is an increasing number of Bangladeshi artist who have gained the opportunity to depict their art work on exhibitions hosted by the finest galleries and museums of Germany. . Even the warm relationship can be witnessed over media related issues. DW, the national broadcaster of Germany broadcast radio program in Bengali language and publish news in DW Bangla website. The National broadcaster of Germany, DW also produces documentary pertaining to the issues of Bangladesh. “Bangladesh- dawn of Islamism” is one of such recent documentaries by the channel which shows the scenario of secularism in Bangladesh in the recent years. Secularism is regarded as one of the four main founding principles of Bangladesh. Thus Germany contributes by ensuring constitutional obligations.

With Germany’s support, a paralegal service, consisting of legal counsels provided by non-governmental organizations was set up. These paralegals were functioning on the period from 2012 to 2019to obtain the release of more than 22000 people who have been imprisoned without trial. This reflects the determination of Germany to ensure the rule of law. On the other hand, Bangladesh is the first south Asian country to ratify the Roman Statute of the international criminal court in 2010. Hence, Bangladesh lacks proper monitoring in maintaining the rule of law. Bangladesh also suffers from the intervention of government in law and order system although the executive and judiciary division were separated on1st November, 2007. Germany, as like many developed nations has uttered the importance of government not intervening in judiciary system, this has provoked different regimes in Bangladesh but still there are a lot of parameters in need of improvement.

Being the 4th ranking country in HDI Index, Germany had always been a support to Bangladesh in terms of trade, education and development. The tie between two countries is a perfect model of diplomacy, balance of negotiations and futuristic approaches.

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36 thoughts on “Diplomacy in the 21st Century: A Synopsis on Germany and Bangladesh

    1. Joy Chowdhury says:

      A very energetic article where you figured out the relationship between two country.
      Best wishes brothers❤


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