Bangladeshi Ambassador Abdel Motaleb Sarker poses for a picture in Beirut, Sunday, March 25, 2018. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Abdel Motaleb Sarker is selling Bangladesh.Asked if this wouldn't simply exacerbate Lebanon's trade deficit with Bangladesh – some $23 million last year – Sarker says his nation is open for business to everyone.Next month's business trip will include 15 to 20 executives, Sarker says.DOMESTIC ISSUESOf course, Bangladesh and Lebanon have many ties, not just economic. Sarker estimates there are between 40,000 and 60,000 Bangladeshis in Lebanon, the majority of them domestic workers or assistants in shops and offices.As the Bangladeshi ambassador, Sarker has to deal with any problems these workers may have while here. Sixty to 70 Bangladeshis die every year in Lebanon, Sarker says.Sarker says there are eight to 10 accidental deaths per year, leaving 50 to 60 other deaths.Sarker takes a different point of view.SECURE FUTUREDespite these problems, however, Sarker is optimistic about Lebanese-Bangladeshi ties.Independent Bangladesh now contributes to Lebanon's security through their 100-plus naval personnel contingent with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.Worldwide, Bangladesh contributes more United Nations peacekeepers than any other country except Ethiopia.
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