Nepal keen to turn ties with Bangladesh into ‘economic partnership’

UNB . Kathmandu | Prothom Alo Nov 12, 2019

Nepal foreign minister Pradeep Kumar gyawali (L) calls on Bangladeshi president Abdul Hamid at the Marriott Kathmandu hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal on 12 November. Photo: PID

Nepal is keen to turn the existing relationship with Bangladesh into
‘economic partnership’, said its foreign minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali
on Tuesday.

He said this with the remarks when he met Bangladesh president Abdul Hamid at hotel Marriott Kathmandu.

President’s press secretary Joynal Abedin briefed newsmen after the meeting.

Pradeep Kumar said Nepal gives highest importance to the bilateral relationship with Bangladesh.

The president recalled with gratitude and appreciation the moral and
physical support extended by the people and political leadership of
Nepal to the people of Bangladesh during the liberation war in 1971.

President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid arrives at Tribhuwan International airport in Kathmandu, Nepal on 12 November 2019. Photo: Reuters

the meeting, he also mentioned that in 2012 and 2013, Bangladesh
honoured 11 distinguished Nepali personalities as “Friends of
Bangladesh” for their contribution to the War of Liberation.

He said Bangladesh maintained excellent relationship with Nepal.

Abdul Hamid congratulated the Nepalese people and political
leadership for completing the peaceful transition to democracy and all
the three tiers of elections (local, provincial and parliamentary) in
2017 and thereby completing the process of implementation of the
constitution adopted in 2015.

He also mentioned that Bangladesh has unilaterally offered Nepal the
use of Payra and Mongla ports for third country transit and access to
the sea. If they use the Payra port, it will help boost the trade

Bangladeshi president Abdul Hamid shakes hand with Nepal`s president Bidhya Devi Bhandari upon his arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal on 12 November 2019. Photo: Reuters

president expressed his belief that the government of Nepal will be
successful in implementing the policies for socio-economic development
of the country and fulfilling their vision of “Samriddha Nepal, Sukhi

He assured that Bangladesh is ready to extend all support to Nepal in this process of achieving socio-economic prosperity.

Expressing happiness at the expanding trade between the two
countries, Abdul Hamid said, “Exports from Bangladesh witnessed a
five-fold increase over the last five years to around US$ 45 million
after stagnating at only around US$ 10 million from 1972 to 2014. This
trend shows that Bangladeshi entrepreneurs and businessmen are
recognising the importance of the Nepalese market. Exports from
Bangladesh, however, have declined this year after introduction of heavy
import duties on products of export interest to Bangladesh.”

He noted that the two countries are yet to harness the full potential
of trade and investment opportunities between the two countries. “It’ll
be a win-win situation for both the countries in trade and investment.”

Abdul Hamid also stressed the need for having regular exchange of
high-level visits between Bangladesh and Nepal to infuse dynamism and
add impetus into the existing cooperation.

Bangladeshi president Abdul Hamid and Nepalese counterpart Bidhya Devi Bhandari inspect a joint military guard of honour at Tribhuwan International airport in Kathmandu, Nepal on 12 November 2019. Photo: Reuters

assured of easing the process of Bangladeshi visas for Nepali students
and providing them with long-term visas so that they can complete their
education smoothly.

The president also highlighted that more than 1.1 million forcibly
displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar are being sheltered by Bangladesh.
While Bangladesh has been addressing this on humanitarian grounds, it
has now become a huge challenge and big burden for it.

“Bangladesh firmly believes that Nepal would continue cooperating
Bangladesh in resolving this longstanding issue and put meaningful
pressure on Myanmar so that it takes back its nationals in a speedy,
safe, sustainable and dignified manner. It’ll be big regional problem as
well,” he said.

Hamid arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday on a four-day visit to Nepal at the invitation of Nepalese president Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

Source: South Asia Journal
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