Bangladesh Embassies and Consulates

Bangladesh Embassies and Consulates – Online Presence of a Nation

Bangladesh embassies, consulates, high commissions, permanent missions in different countries and international organizations represent Bangladesh and its people. These missions are controlled by Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). According to MOFA’s website, a total of 65 embassies, consulates, high commissions, deputy high commissions, permanent missions are stationed in 51 countries. (List below. However, this list may not be updated!) All these foreign missions have physical location (buildings, offices) and many have online presence (websites). Through their physical and virtual locations these foreign offices provide various kinds of services to people.

This article, in general, will review the state and effectiveness of the websites of Bangladesh embassies and consulates. It will touch upon the language, social engagement, quality of information, management related issues. At the end, it will attempt to provide some suggestions.

At present, there are 48 embassies, consulates, high commissions, deputy high commissions, permanent missions of Bangladesh government can be found online (Sources: MOFA website and internet search). A gallery of screenshots of Bangladesh Embassies and Consulates can be found here.

Due to lack of information regarding the website policy of Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), this article has to rely on WYSIWYG method to write about the conditions of websites.

To start with, apart from the James Bond 007, Mr Daniel Craig’s visit to Bangladesh Deputy High commission in Kolkata, online presence of Bangladesh foreign missions are not admirable. Many missions have no web presence.  Those who have are plugged with difficulties – dead links, no links, outdated information, slow speed, hacked domain, expired domain, disorganized information structure, no public engagement, security concern are few to mention. Following are some more prominent problems:

 

Naming Principles of Bangladesh Embassies and Consulates

Nomenclature? Bangladesh embassies and consulates have adopted various kinds of name for different missions. For example, bdembassy, bangladeshembassy, bangladoot, bangladesh, bdembassyuae, cgbdubai etc.

Moreover, sometimes when a domain name was expired or hacked, simply another name was taken and a website was lunched. For example:

Bangladesh High Commission in India, New Delhi

www.bhcdelhi.org  >>  www.bdhcdelhi.org

Consulate General of Bangladesh in LA, USA

www.bdcgla.org  >>  www.bangladeshconsulatela.com

Embassy of Bangladesh in Japan

www.bdembjp.com  >>  www.bdembassy.jp

Deputy High Commission of Bangladesh in Kolkata, India

www.bdhckolkata.org  >>  www.bdhc-kolkata.org

Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in Geneva, Switzerland

www.bangladeshmissiongeneva.ch  >>  www.bangladeshembassy.ch

 

Domain Policy of Bangladesh Embassies and Consulates

Acquiring and implementing a systematic, well-organized, appropriate top-level domain (TLD) policy is vital to any website. At the government level, it is also a question of public trust, national security and standardization. Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not secured and implemented any consistent domain name plan for its foreign mission websites.

It seems like Bangladesh MOFA uses any and every top-level domain names available for their missions abroad. Here are some samples of top-level domain names in use for MOFA foreign missions today:

Name (Entity) Name (Entity)
  •  .com (commercial)
  •  .org (organization)
  •  .bh (Bahrain)
  •  .be (Belgium)
  •  .bt (Bhutan)
  •  .bn (Brunei Darussalam)
  •  .ca (Canada)
  •  .cn (China)
  •  .de (Germany)
  •  .lk (Sri Lanka)
  •  .np (Nepal)
  •  .nl (Netherlands)
  •  .ru (Russia)
  •  .sa (South Africa)
  •  .sg (Singapore)
  •  .se (Sweden)
  •  .ch (Switzerland)
  •  .tr (Turkey)
  •  .uk (United Kingdom)
  •  .uz (Uzbekistan)
  •  .vn (Vietnam)

Language Support

All websites of Bangladesh embassies and consulates are in English. None of them has Bangla language support except Bangladesh Embassy in Nepal. Other missions sometime post government circulars, notices, press releases, directives, etc. in Bangla. However, they are all in jpeg or pdf format.

Considering its international importance, English is a right choice. However, considering Bangla language is a big issue in Bangladesh and possibly most of the visitors are of Bangladeshi origin (an unscientific assumption!), and it is a national language of Bangladesh, all websites could have been supported with Bangla language. And if possible, all websites can provide local language support as well. For example, Bangladesh Embassy in Japan can be in Japanese language, beside English and Bangla.

Ironically, Bangladesh MOFA website is completely in English but they have attempted Bangla language support!

Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Bangla Help
Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Bangla Help

Interestingly, Bangladesh Embassy in Uzbekistan has Russian, Bangladesh Embassy in Turkey has Turkish language and Bangladesh Embassy in China has Chinese language support.

 

Social Engagement

Social media, like Facebook, Twitter,  YouTube, Google+ etc. are powerful tools to connect and stay in touch with clients or fans of any service organizations. Almost no Bangladesh embassies and consulates have social media connections except Kenya (Facebook) and Nepal (Facebook, Twitter, Google+). Interestingly, Bangladesh Embassy in Kuwait has no website but only Facebook page!

 

Information and Website Structure

All MOFA websites have serious consistency problem in regard to information and website structure.

Information

The information provided in various websites of Bangladeshi missions abroad are widely varied. Basic information about Bangladesh, economy, culture, tradition are not uniform. In some instances, they are missing.

Structure

Like information, website structures are widely differs, confusing and has no harmony.  Let’s take one example – contact is one of most important link/menu at the navigational structure of any website.  One can see a wild ride of the link, here are few example:

  • Bangladesh Embassy in Sweden and Turkey: ‘Contact Us‘ on top right horizontal level. Good.
  • Bangladesh Embassy in UAE: ‘Contact Us‘ is on the footer only!!
  • Bangladesh Embassy in Saudi Arabia: there is no ‘Contact Us‘. If they have, it is HARD to find.
  • Bangladesh Embassy in Sri Lanka: ‘Contact Us’ is not on navigation menu, just pasted at the front page. Easy to lost.

Website structures can be different but all must pass usability test and be user-friendly. Navigation does not have to be same or even similar, but it must be intuitive in nature. ‘Keep looking until you find’ policy is not a great idea.

 

Control and Management

Who controls Bangladesh embassy and consulate websites? According to MOFA website, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand have no websites. However, they have websites and can be found online. Is Bangladesh MOFA in control of these websites? or Is this simply a lack of update issue?

There is no information about Bangladesh Consulate in Milan, Italy on MOFA website. However, one website of Consulate Milan was found online! The website works and seems legitimate but question remains why there is no information about this consulate on MOFA website?

Management of the websites can be delegated to other entities but who control and own these domain names and websites are not clear. Many of the websites are simply created, credited, sponsored, donated by other entities. There are also no copyright, disclaimer, terms and conditions, privacy policy related issues posted, including Bangladesh MOFA’s own website.

If these websites are owned and controlled by Bangladesh MOFA, as a rule of thumb, that information should be mentioned. Allowing  person’s or organization’s name to appear on a government website is not professional.

At the time of writing this article, at least 19 MOFA foreign mission websites have the name of a person or organization printed at the footer – including some foreign web developers. Even at the footer of MOFA’s own website has personal seal of a creator! Nothing is wrong in mentioning who is the designer or developer of the websites, however, it is very unconventional for a government website.

Proper control and maintenance of  Bangladesh foreign mission websites are a national security issue.

Other Observations:

Many issues can be mentioned that are affecting good web experience for visitors, such as

  • Websites have many dead links, bad request links,
  • Websites are almost static in nature,
  • No interactive options in any websites,
  • There are many kinds of platforms in use,
  • No cookie policy compliance regarding EU countries,
  • Sites are not secured (https) to do any data transaction, if necessary, etc.

 

Bangladesh Foreign Missions At A Glance:

Country/CityNameDomainLanguageSocial LinkSponsoredNote
Australia, Canberra bhcanberra.comEnglishNoYes, priyoaustralia & rbitsolutions
Bahrainbdembassy.orgEnglishNo
Belgiumbangladeshembassy.be------Connection time out
Bhutanbangladeshembassy.btEnglishNoAccount suspended
Brazil xxxxxNo Website
Brunei Darussalamhcbangladesh.org.bnEnglishNo
Canadabdhcottawa.caEnglishNo
China, Beijingbangladeshembassy.com.cnEnglish, ChineseNo
China, KunmingxxxxxNo Website
China, Honk Kongbangladeshconsulate.hkEnglishNoNo information, only random and bad links. 3rd person Facebook link!
Egypt xxxxxNo Website
Francebanglaemb-paris.org------Broken
Germanybangladeshembassy.deEnglishNoYes, Deutsch Bangla Textile
Greecebdembassyathens.grEnglishNoYes, D.F.
India, Delhibdhcdelhi.orgEnglishYes, Facebook, Twitter, YouTubeYes, MrnproductionsMOFA website link has different info.
India, Kolkatabdhckolkata.org------Broken
India, Agartala xxxxxNo Website
India, MumbaixxxxxNo Website
Indonesiabangladeshembassyjakarta.comEnglishNoGoogle free site
IranxxxxxNo Website
IraqxxxxxNo Website
Italy, Milanbcgmilan.comEnglishNoYes, Kamrul HassanMOFA website has no info about this office!
Italybangladeshembassyinitaly.com------Domain for sale
Japanbdembassy.jpEnglishNoYes, Arefin TuhinMOFA website link has different info. MOFA link is a fashion site!
Jordanbdembassyamman.comEnglishNoBroken
Kenyabdootnairobi.comEnglishYes, Facebook
Korea, SouthxxxxxNo Website
Kuwaitkuwait.mofa.gov.bdEnglishYes, FacebookNo website, only Facebook
Lebanonbangladeshembassybeirut.orgEnglishNoYes, Drivs av AbstraThis website is not listed on MOFA website.
Libyabdembassytripoli.com----Website does not exist
Malaysiabangladesh-highcomkl.comEnglishNoYes, Raihan Mazumder
MaldivesxxxxxNo Website
Moroccobangladeshembassy-morocco.org------Website disappeared
Myanmar, Yangonbdembassyyangon.orgEnglishNoYes, BUZZThis website is not listed on MOFA website.
Myanmar, SittwexxxxxNo Website
MauritiusxxxxxNo Website
MexicoxxxxxNo Website
Nepalbangladootorg.npEnglish, BanglaYes, Facebook, Twitter, Google+Yes, AugustaisThis website is not listed on MOFA website. Has a Hindi language link
Netherlandsbangladeshembassy.nlEnglishNoLink and scans
OmanxxxxxNo Website
Pakistan, Islamabadbdhcpk.orgEnglishNo
Pakistan, Karachibddhc-karachi.orgEnglishNoYes, Boundless Technologies
Philippinesbangladeshembassymanila.orgEnglishNoYes, I-Map WebsolutionsThis website is not listed on MOFA website.
PortugalxxxxxNo Website
Qatarbdembassydoha.comEnglishNoYes, Prism TechnologyThis website is not listed on MOFA website. Half broken
Russiabangladeshembassy.ruEnglishNo
Saudi Arabiabangladeshembassy.org.saEnglishNo
Singaporebangladesh.org.sgEnglishNoYes, Sunmediaonline
South Africa xxxxxNo Website
Spain xxxxxNo Website
Sri Lanka bhccolombo.lkEnglishNoYes, Zeeron SolutionsThis website is not listed on MOFA website.
Swedenbangladoot.seEnglishNoYes, Abstra
Switzerlandbangladeshmissiongeneva.ch----Permanent Mission to UN offices. Forever in maintenance!
Thailandbdembassybangkok.orgEnglishNoYes, G7websiteThis website is not listed on MOFA website.
Turkeybangladootankara.org.trEnglish, TurkishNoYes, Orden
United Arab Emirate, Abu Dhabibdembassyuae.orgEnglishNo
United Arab Emirate, Dubaicgbdubai.orgEnglishNoYes, AlwafaagroupThis website is not listed on MOFA website.
UK, Londonbhclondon.org.ukEnglishNo
UK, Mancheshterbahcmanchester.org.ukEnglishNoYes, G5 Telecom
UK, BirminghamxxxxxNo Website
USA, Washington DCbdembassyusa.orgEnglishYes, YouTube
USA, New Yorkbdcgny.orgEnglishNo
USA, Los Angelesbangladeshconsulatela.comEnglishNo
Uzbekistanbangladeshembtashkent.uzEnglish, RussianNo
Vietnambangladeshembassy.vn------Hacked!
UN Permanent MissionN/A--EnglishNoThe website belongs to UN

Ways to Improve websites of Bangladesh Embassies and Consulates

There are many ways to improve the websites of Bangladesh embassies and consulates. Consult with some industry experts can be one way to go. Below are some obvious suggestions:

  • Naming principle can be made uniform and consistent. For example: using mofa.gov.bd as a top-level domain, all foreign missions can be named with city in which they are stationed. Here are few examples:
  Abu Dhabi
https://www.abudhabi.mofa.gov.bd    
  Karachi https://www.karachi.mofa.gov.bd
  London https://www.london.mofa.gov.bd
  Los Angeles https://www.losangeles.mofa.gov.bd
  New York https://www.newyork.mofa.gov.bd
  Nairobi https://www.nairobi.mofa.gov.bd
  Washington D. C. https://www.washingtondc.mofa.gov.bd
  • General information about Bangladesh history, politics, geography, culture, tradition, literature, government structure, investment policy, etc. can be furnished by Bangladesh MOFA. Those information can be data-rich, synchronized, well researched. Rest can be given to each mission to add information according to their need. Website structure can be professional, user-friendly, modern and if possible, aesthetically appealing!
  • Websites can be made in English with Bangla and local language support. Bangla language will help Bangladeshis in need and local language may assist foreign investors, tourists and information seekers. For example:
  Embassy Language 1
Language 2
Language 3
  USA English Bangla
  UAE English Bangla Arabic
  Sweden English Bangla Swedish
  Tajikistan English Bangla Russian
  Malaysia English Bangla Malay/Chinese
  • When possible, rating system, FAQ, QA, social media sections can be added to better serve the clients.
  • All websites should be made responsive and mobile-friendly as more people are accessing web via cell phones and tablets.
  • To make websites fast, secure, and hacker proof appropriate measurements can be implemented according to industry experts. (like https, CDN etc.)
  • Copyright, terms and conditions, disclaimer etc. should be clearly stated in all websites of Bangladesh MOFA foreign missions.
  • All foreign missions can have web presence. At present, 17 embassies and consulates have no websites.

Online presence of nation like Bangladesh is very important as more and more people are seeking information online. For many investors, tourists, researchers, expatiates, businessmen a website is the first and prime source for information. Therefore, it will be wise for Bangladesh MOFA to create fast, secure, accurate, comprehensive and working websites for all of its embassies and consulates as soon as possible, including its own.

3 thoughts on “Bangladesh Embassies and Consulates – Online Presence of a Nation

  1. Excellent Article. I’m owner of digital agency in England and being of Bangladeshi origin. I totally agree with your article I’ve noticed from my personal perspective that the current state of BD government website are really outdated with lack of organisations. It really wish the Government would do better improve the web presence of the country to promote trade and investment & tourism.

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