Monday, April 22, 2019 | ePaper

Dhaka-Thimphu to explore new areas of mutual cooperation

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Visiting Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Liberation War martyrs soon after arriving Dhaka on Friday for a three-day official visit.  In the morning, the red carpet was rolled out as Bhutanese Premier along with his spouse arrived in Bangladesh at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
We do cordially welcome Prime Minister of Bhutan to Bangladesh. Bhutan was the nation to recognise Bangladesh as an independence country. In recent years, Bangladesh and Bhutan have committed to a strategic development partnership, encompassing hydropower, free trade and transport. Bhutan is also member of SAARC and BIMSTEC, like Bangladesh. We believe, the bilateral relations between the two friendly countries would be stronger following Dr Tshering visit.
What's significant is that, the bilateral trade volume is relatively small between the two nations.  In fact, the trade between the two countries depends only on a few items, though Bangladesh is the second largest trading partner and export market for Bhutan. This is nothing but due to lack of awareness among the business entities of the two countries. In this regard, the business leaders of Bangladesh need to identify ways to move forward. Especially, they can find better cooperation from Bhutan in tourism, health and power sectors. If it's possible, some of the economic complementarities would be able to gain from it.
Besides, Bhutan could tap the hydro potential to the fullest and share with the entire region, including Bangladesh. In this regard, Dhaka can seek cooperation from Thimphu to get bulk power. Side by side, leaders of the both countries must explore new areas of cooperation to promote trade and commerce. Bhutan is a landlocked country. Recently, Bangladesh has agreed to grant transit facility to Bhutan for carrying goods through its territory as the previous agreement expired some 18 years back. Bhutan also wants to sign a transit deal to carry its overseas trade using the seaports of Bangladesh. Officials in Dhaka said Bhutan expects an identical facility like India from Dhaka.
We are hopeful that, both countries would be able to find a reasonable way to make benefitted their own countries under mutual understanding and trust.

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