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Mayors of London and Dhaka, Bangladesh sign friendship agreement
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and Mayor of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, have signed a friendship agreement at City Hall.
In the agreement the two cities pledge to build on existing fruitful relations and celebrate the contribution that London’s Bangladeshi population makes to the culture and diversity of the city.
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said:
‘The friendship agreement recognises the enormous contribution London’s Bangladeshi community makes to London’s cultural life and to the international diversity that is the city’s greatest asset. London and Dhaka share many challenges common to highly populated cities, such as how to manage high traffic levels and provide sufficient housing for their growing populations. This agreement will ensure we share best practice and experience for many years to come.’
Mayor of Dhaka, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, said:
‘Our two cities have had strong ties for many years and I am pleased to sign this agreement which will strengthen this important link.
‘In our challenge to make Dhaka a beautiful city and improve the quality of life for its citizens and visitors we are tackling similar problems to those faced by London such as traffic congestion, pollution and sustainable development.
`My colleagues and I at the Dhaka City Corporation look forward to developing a valuable dialogue with the Mayor of London’s Office to examine how some of your policies can influence our strategy to continually improve our city.’
The signing was also attended by Baroness Uddin of Bethnal Green and His Excellency, Sheikh Razzak Ali, High Commissioner for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Leading figures from London’s Bengali community representing the worlds of the arts, business and politics were among the 200 guests invited to witness the signing of the agreement in the Chamber at City Hall.
The guests were then welcomed to a reception hosted by The Mayor of London in honour of the Mayor of Dhaka and entertained by leading London based Bengali musicians from the Tower Hamlets Kobi Nazrul Centre.
Notes to Editors
1. The UK’s Bangladeshi community is the fastest growing ethnic community in Britain with 54% (154,000 people of Bangladeshi origin) living in London (Census 2001).
2. The Bangladeshi community runs the vast majority of London’s Indian restaurants - as well as being strongly represented in textile manufacture and small business.
3. London has a large multi-ethnic population and strong ties with other nations. The Mayor’s Friendship Agreements seek to strengthen these links and acknowledge the important contribution other cultures make to London’s vibrancy. Dhaka, Bangladesh is the fourth city to sign a Friendship Agreement with London, following Delhi, Dublin, and Kingston, Jamaica. The Mayor has signed Partnership Agreements with Berlin, Moscow, New York, and Paris.
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