Bilateral Relations

Last updated: 15.06.2014 // Norway enjoys good bilateral relations with Bangladesh, dating back to the country’s independence in 1971. Norway’s engagement has traditionally been focused on development cooperation, with Bangladesh being the 4th largest recipient of Norwegian bilateral aid in history. With Bangladesh’s rapid development and high economic growth our relationship has shifted from being merely partners in aid, to being partners in trade.

In 2012 the first Bangladesh Frontier Forum was held in Oslo, aimed at attracting Norwegian businesses to Bangladesh. The Business Matchmaking Program, which was established in 2010, is facilitating partnerships between Norwegian and Bangladeshi companies. The Nordic Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 2010 as a forum to assist and promote Nordic companies in Bangladesh.

The largest Norwegian investor in Bangladesh is the Norwegian telecom operator Telenor, which is the majority owner of Bangladesh’s largest mobile phone company GrameenPhone. GP has almost 50 million subscribers and around 45% market share, and is the biggest taxpayer in the country. Telenor`s investment in Bangladesh is an example of how private sector can contribute to development and shows how Norwegian ‘knowhow’ and technology can lead to greater economic and social inclusion.  

Development cooperation is now focused on climate change/disaster preparedness and human rights/women’s rights.

For more information about our bilateral relations, see our Platform for Partnerships.

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