UNB::Dhaka::Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday put emphasis on constructing necessary infrastructures to reap the highest benefits from the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) signed between Bangladesh and Bhutan.
She made the observation during a meeting with visiting Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering at her office.
PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
He said that both the Prime Ministers discussed on various fields of cooperation between the two countries, especially trade and connectivity.
Both of them agreed to activate the riverine routes so that trade between the two countries could be expanded.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina put emphasis on building more ports of call. For establishing cooperation in hydropower project, she asked for formulating bilateral or tripartite MoU in this regard.
The Bhutanese Prime Minister requested Prime Minister Hasina to issue one time multiple full term visa for their students who are studying in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh Prime Minister agreed upon the issue and asked the officials concerned for taking necessary steps.
She also said that Bangladesh would cooperate Bhutan in ICT sector, especially providing broadband internet.
Both the leaders also agreed on working together in the United Nations and other forums.
Earlier, the two Prime Ministers also held a tête-à-tête for 45 minutes.
Prime Minister Dr Tshering conveyed the warm greetings of The King and the people of Bhutan to Bangladesh during the meeting.
“Bhutan is special to us,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, welcoming the Bhutanese Prime Minister and the delegation for the celebrations of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence.
Engaging in conversations that were largely around the good relations the two countries shared, the two Prime Ministers discussed on the twin celebrations that were the highlights of the trip and also touched upon some bilateral issues, according to Bhutanese Prime Minister’s Office.
Following the exchange of gifts, the Bhutanese Prime Minister also paused to write some thoughts at the book kept for the visitors.
He will meet President Abdul Hamid in the afternoon and proceed to the National Parade Ground to grace the event as the guest of honour.
Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen, Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Ambassador of Bangladesh to Bhutan AKM Shahidul Karim were present from Bangladesh side.
Ambassador of Bhutan to Bangladesh Rinchen Kuentsyl and chief of protocol Daso Ugyen Gongphel were present among others during the meeting.
PTA between Bangladesh, Bhutan
Bangladesh on 6 December, 2020 signed its maiden Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bhutan to boost bilateral trade between the two countries.
The PTA with Bhutan is the first such bilateral preferential trade agreement Bangladesh signed with any country since independence in 1971.
Some 100 Bangladeshi products will get duty-free access in Bhutan. These include – baby clothes and clothing accessories, men’s trousers and shorts, jackets and blazers, jute and jute goods, leather and leather goods, dry cell battery, fan, watch, potato, condensed milk, cement, toothbrush, plywood, particle board, mineral and carbonated water, green tea, orange juice, pineapple juice, and guava juice
Meanwhile, 34 Bhutanese products that will get duty-free access to the Bangladeshi market include – orange, apple, ginger, fruit juice, milk, natural honey, wheat or meslin flour, homogenised preparations of jams, fruit jellies, marmalades, food preparations of soybeans, mineral water, wheat bran, quartzite, cement clinker, limestone, wooden particle boards, and wooden furniture.