Bangladesh and Nepal today (Thursday) agreed to boost cooperation in power sector alongside trade and investment as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held talks with her Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli on the sidelines of the 4th BIMSTEC Summit in Nepal.
“They discussed bilateral and regional cooperation and put emphasis on increasing trade and investment as well as enhanced cooperation for power sector development,” Bangladesh premier’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters after the meeting at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza in Kathmandu this afternoon.
Karim said the two premiers discussed the issue of importing electricity from Nepal and signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard.
Sheikh Hasina, he said, recalled with profound gratitude the Nepalese support to Bangladesh’s Liberation War and said Dhaka deeply valued its relations with Nepal as the bilateral cooperation between the two neighbours was crucial for both the countries.
“Our main aim is to eradicate poverty from the region…we want development not for our own country alone, we want the neighbours to develop as well,” she said.
The premier offered Nepal to use Bangladesh’s seaports and the Syedpur airport and added Bangladesh could also share its experience in disaster management with Kathmandu.
The Nepalese premier, on the other hand, said the two countries needed to “explore opportunities to boost cooperation in different sectors”.
Oli expressed his happiness as his Bangladesh counterpart joined the BIMSTEC Summit at his invitation while Sheikh Hasina stressed the need for further strengthening the regional connectivity for the benefit of the South Asian nations.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH mahmood Ali, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque and Bangladesh Ambassador in Kathmandu Mashfee Binte Shams aided the premier during the talks.
Nepalese Foreign Minister Prodip Kumar Gyawali and Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi were present from the Nepalese side.
Later, Bhutanese Chief Adviser or head of interim government Dasho Tshering Wangchuk called on Sheikh Hasina at the same place when they discussed matters of mutual interest, the press secretary said.
During the meeting, the chief adviser informed the Bangladesh prime minister of the upcoming elections in Bhutan.
“According to Bhutan’s constitution, our parliament has been dissolved and the new government will take oath by October 31,” he said.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the existing friendly ties between the two countries and hoped that the relationship would be further strengthened in the days to come.
The Bhutanese chief adviser recalled his visit to Bikramapur of Bangladesh.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque were present on the occasion, reports BSS.
Later, Sheikh Hasina along with other BIMSTEC leaders paid a joint call on Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari at Sheetal Nibash, the Presidential Palace, in the capital city.
They also attended a banquet luncheon there hosted by the Nepalese president.
Sheikh Hasina arrived here this morning to join the two-day 4th Summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) that begins today.