Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller visited Chattogram April 16-19 to promote bilateral trade and investment, support the growing military partnership between the United States and Bangladesh, and bolster people-to-people ties.
Ambassador Miller visited U.S. private energy company Excelerate, whose Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) in the Bay of Bengal is supplying natural gas used to produce power for Chattogram’s six million residents and its entire industrial area. The FSRU has a 500 million standard cubic feet of gas per day regasification capacity, increasing Bangladesh’s ability to reliably use its domestic natural gas reserves.
Ambassador Miller met with business leaders to learn more about local industries that contribute to the economic development of both the Bangladeshi and U.S. economies. He met the Chairman of the Chattogram Port Authority and toured the seaport facilities through which more than 90 percent of Bangladesh’s trade flows. They discussed the important role U.S. private business investment could play in port upgrades and other construction projects. Ambassador Miller also visited a ship-breaking yard and a steel melting and re-rolling facility. Ambassador Miller reiterated the importance of worker rights and safety, and called on business leaders to protect workers and the environment and put an end to child labor.
In support of growing U.S.-Bangladesh military ties, Ambassador Miller gave remarks at the closing ceremony of a U.S.-Bangladesh Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) exercise. The exercise included modules on human rights, first aid, and mission planning. Ambassador Miller laid a wreath and planted a tree to honor Seaman Mohammad Nurul Islam who was killed during a UN Peace Keeping Operation (PKO) in 2005. He paid his respects to the 146 Bangladeshis who have lost their lives in PKOs, and expressed his appreciation for Bangladesh’s support of international peace and security as the second largest troop-contributing country in the world.
Ambassador Miller also visited the American Corner at Chattogram Independent University (CIU), where he met two-time Fulbright Fellow and CIU Vice Chancellor Dr. Mahfuzul Hoque Chowdhury and engaged with Bangladeshis attending an event on autism awareness, in commemoration of World Autism Awareness Day. He highlighted the opportunities of studying in the United States as well as the EducationUSA information and services offered at the Corner. He later met with the founder and the Vice Chancellor of the Asian University for Women to express his support for their dedication to women’s education and leadership development including Rohingya students.
Ambassador Miller visited the Chattogram War Cemetery where he laid a wreath at the grave of American pilot William B. Rice, who lost his life as a member of the British Royal Air Force during World War II. Ambassador Miller also laid a wreath at the Cross of Remembrance in honor of the sacrifices of all who died in the conflict.