'Bangladesh has always been giving priority to neighbouring states in terms of cooperation'
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday offered Bangladesh’s airport and seaport facilities to Nepal as part of Dhaka’s commitment for regional connectivity for shared prosperity as Nepal's visiting Foreign Minister Pradip Kumar Gyawali called on her at the Prime Minister's Office.
"Bangladesh has always been giving priority to neighbouring states in terms of cooperation,” premier’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted her as saying in a media briefing after the call on.
Sheikh Hasina, he said, told Gyawali that her government was updating Syedpur Airport as an international aviation facility expecting it to be an important centre for regional connectivity, reports BSS.
"Nepal and Bhutan can use Syedpur Airport; Chattogram and Mongla seaports for the mutual benefits” she said.
The PMO spokesperson said cooperation in power sector and bilateral trade and commerce also featured during the premier’s meeting with the Nepalese foreign minister.
Sheikh Hasina said she always advocated for transit facilities for Nepal as part of Dhaka’s campaign for enhanced regional connectivity, particularly under The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Initiative as a sub-regional architecture of the eastern South Asian nations.
She said joint hydroelectricity projects involving Dhaka, Kathmandu and New Delhi could be a good example of regional cooperation while Nepal enjoys a special geographical advantage to generate hydro power while Bangladesh was already purchasing electricity from India.
At the same time, she said, Bangladesh could export vegetables and fish to Nepal during the winter season when the mountainous nation needed supplies from outside.
Sheikh Hasina said the two countries needed to enhance cooperation as both the neighbours appeared to have been victims of climate change.
Gyawali said that Kathmandu expected its ties with Bangladesh to a new trajectory against the backdrop of Bangladesh’s rapid socio-economic development under Sheikh Hasina’s leadership.
He apprised the premier of his fruitful meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Dr A K Abdul Momen and Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi.