West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has been in Bangladesh this week following his weeklong trade mission to neighbouring India.

In his first visit to the independent South Asian nation, the Mayor met with local business, academic and political figures to reflect on the existing close ties between the West Midlands and Bangladesh; and explore new trade, diplomatic and cultural opportunities.

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.

Mayor Andy Street visits the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhaka, Bangladesh  WMCA
Mayor Andy Street visits the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Mayor flew into the capital city Dhaka from Dehli in India on Sunday (13 November) where he spent last week spearheading a trade mission made up of West Midlands business and political leaders to promote opportunities for bilateral trade and investment.

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.”

Andy Street paying his respects to Bangladesh's 'Father of the Nation' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at the Bangabandhu Memorial MuseumWMCA
Andy Street paying his respects to Bangladesh’s ‘Father of the Nation’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum

The Mayor’s itinerary also saw him visit Central Shaheed Minar, a national monument in Dhaka commemorating those killed during the Bengali Language Movement demonstrations of 1952 in what was then East Pakistan.

During the three-day visit the Mayor – whose role involves serving as a global ambassador for the West Midlands – met with key business leaders from various large corporations who have a presence in Bangladesh, as well as senior politicians including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Mayors of Dhaka.

He also met various business organisations and their members and took part in a panel discussion on developing smart cities.

Street then will then travelled from Dhaka to the north-eastern city of Sylhet to visit a tea plantation and meet the Mayor of Sylhet.

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