Greece recognized Bangladesh on 11 March 1972. The recognition came in the wake of Home Coming of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in January 1972. The two countries have commonalities of views on many regional and global issues. The relations between Bangladesh and Greece always remained friendly. Bangladesh and Greece enjoy traditional friendly relations. The intelligentia and academia in Bangladesh are well apprised of the Greek history and culture. The current relation of Bangladesh with Greece stems on considerable number of Bangladeshi expatriates who are living and working in Greece. Due to the recent economic recession in Greece, the demand for workers has remained low. Still a good number of Bangladeshi nationals are working in agricultural and hospitality sectors in Greece.
As regards bilateral visits, there have been several bilateral visits between Bangladesh and Greece. The Hon’ble Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Abdur Razzak visited Athens in May 2000. The former State Minister for Expatriate’s Welfare visited Athens in May 2002. Former Minister of Science & ICT, Dr. Moin Khan visited Athens in March 2003. Hon’ble Minister of Finance, Mr. Abul Maak Abdul Muhit visited Greece from 2-3 October 2009 only to meet with local Bangladeshi expatriates. Hon’ble Minister for Labour and Employment and Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment, Engineer Khandker Mosharraf Hossain visited Athens in November 2009. During the visit, he discussed about the possibility of exporting skilled manpower from Bangladesh to Greece in the agricultural, tourism and shipping sectors. He also met with the former Minister of Interior of Greece to discuss our labour welfare matters. Mr. M Mijarul Quayes, Foreign Secretary paid an official visit to Greece from 13-15 April 2010. During the visit, Protocol on Foreign Offices’ Consultations was signed. Apart from that, some high government officials visited Greece on official meetings. Mr. George Papandreou, the former Foreign Minister of Greece later Greek Prime Minister visited Bangladesh in 2000.
The most important mentionable high level contact is the meeting of H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Hon'ble Prime Minister with the previous Prime Minister of Greece, Mr. Antonis C. Samaras in Milan during the ASEM summit in October, 2014. At the meeting, H.E. Sheikh Hasina underscored the importance of enhancing trade and commerce with Greece for the mutual benefits of the two countries. She recalled with gratitude that Greece was one of the European countries that had recognised independent Bangladesh in 1972. The Greek Prime Minister congratulated Sheikh Hasina for being elected as Bangladesh Prime Minister for the third time following the January 5 election, saying Bangladesh is marching ahead under Hasina’s leadership. The Greek Prime Minister also said he felt proud of having talks with the daughter of father of the Bangladeshi nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and highly appreciated her government for its role against terrorism and militancy. The Greek Prime Minister also assured H.E. Sheikh Hasina of extending possible cooperation to Bangladeshi immigrants living in Greece in response to Bangladesh Prime Minister’s request for the same. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers agreed to work together with the world community against terrorism and militancy.
The bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Greece is steadily growing. Bangladesh is mainly exporting ready-made garments, frozen food, chemical products, ceramic, jute and leather products to Greece. There remain tremendous potentials for the enhancement of trade and commerce between Bangladesh and Greece.
Greece and Bangladesh have signed a few bilateral Agreements. The Agreement on Economical and Technical Cooperation was signed in 13 February 1987. The Protocol on Political Consultations between Bangladesh and Greece was signed on 14 April, 2010. The Agreement of Cultural and Educational cooperation is under negotiation between Bangladesh and Greece. The Greek side also proposed an Agreement on Readmission of undocumented Bangladeshis. Bangladesh is examining.
The Bangladesh community in Greece is contributing to the Greek economy as a good number of Bangladeshi nationals have their own business and small-level entrepreneurship. The Bangladeshi workers have good reputation in Greece for their discipline. The Bangladesh community is being better integrated in the Greek society due to their respect for law and rules as well as ability to learn Greek language.