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Sunday, 19 May 2024
3rd Foreign Office Consultations between Bangladesh and Bhutan held

3rd Foreign Office Consultations between Bangladesh and Bhutan held

Diplomatic Correspondent

The 3rd Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between Bangladesh and Bhutan was held in Thimphu on Friday. Bangladesh delegation was led by Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen, while Bhutan delegation was led by Pema Choden, Foreign Secretary of Bhutan. According to MoFa statement. 

During the Foreign Office Consultations, whole gamut of bilateral relations was discussed. Both the Foreign Secretaries expressed satisfaction on the excellent bilateral relations that exist between Bangladesh and Bhutan. They discussed all the major issues of mutual interests and agreed to promote cooperation encompassing all sectors, especially trade and commerce, health, investment, connectivity, power and energy, tourism, culture and education among others. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen urged Bhutan to take necessary measures to rejoin the BBIN MVA framework to promote prosperity through people to people contact. 

Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh raised the issue of Sustainable Development Fees for tourists and requested to reduce the current SDF for the Bangladeshi tourists. The Bhutanese side assured of positive consideration. The two sides agreed to work together to enhance tourism and foster people to people contact.

Both the Foreign Secretaries also discussed the means and ways of faster implementations of the  decisions taken and MoUs signed  during the recent visit of His Majesty the King of Bhutan to Bangladesh. 

On her part, Pema Choden stressed on the exploration of the untapped potential in economic, cultural and educational areas and proposed to establish meaningful collaborative relationship. She mentioned that Bhutan would like to pursue more trade and investment cooperation with Bangladesh. She also stressed on mutual efforts to conclude the pending Agreements/MoUs. Bhutanese Foreign Secretary emphasized on the exchange of government and private level visits between the two countries. 

Both the Foreign Secretaries discussed regional issues of mutual interest and  hoped that both countries would continue to work to reinvigorate the SAARC and BIMSTEC processes. 

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary also called on Lyonpo D. N. Dhungyel, Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Royal Government of Bhutan at the latter’s office. During the meeting, they discussed the issues of mutual interests including trade & investment, special economic zone in Kurigram, power sector cooperation, cooperation in health and education, regional cooperation etc. 

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen also attended the National Day Reception hosted by the Bangladesh Embassy in Bhutan as the Special Guest. He also inspected the progress of the ongoing construction work of the Chancery and Residence Construction project of Bangladesh Embassy in Thimphu. 

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