Bangladesh enjoys reciprocal diplomatic ties with many countries and these are expressed through embassies, high commissions and consulates. Like most countries, Bangladesh’s foreign policy is largely aligned with its economic condition, especially due to the fact that the country has benefitted immensely from foreign assistance. Bangladesh has positive relationships with many countries in the developed world. Whilst being a relatively young developing country, Bangladesh has a strong stance on sovereignty, especially in respect of other developing nations. It also has strong ties with the Middle East, due to its shared Islamic heritage with the area, which has been a strong source of aid for the country.
About 40 countries have official representations in Bangladesh and many of these enjoy growing social, economic and political ties with Bangladesh. The vast majority of these embassies exist within the capital, Dhaka. The Embassy of Japan provides a good example of the role of such institutions within the country. The embassy is one of the key points of contact for Japan’s Country Assistance Program, which assists in poverty reduction, helping Bangladesh to help itself; encouraging Bangladesh in its moderate Islamic stance; aiding Bangladesh with its image and PR; and encouraging a balanced FDI (foreign direct investment) program which meets the needs of all stakeholders.
Bangladesh has over 50 missions abroad including high commissions, embassies and consulates in countries spanning every continent, including South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, the UK and Canada. One of it oldest missions, the Bangladeshi High Commission in London, provides an avenue of communication for the two countries and for the substantial ethnic Bangladeshi community living in the UK. It also deals with mutual trade and aid agreements – such as bilateral links and the promotion of the development of British companies in Bangladesh; visa arrangements; the promotion of tourism; and helping to spread knowledge in regards to Bangladeshi culture, history, and the arts.