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Dhaka Tribune

FM: PM Hasina's Thailand visit aims to boost cooperation

  • Will leave for Thailand on Wednesday
  • Will seek support from Thailand regarding Rohingya repatriation
Update : 22 Apr 2024, 03:39 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to Thailand is significant for both countries as it will open new doors of cooperation, Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has said.

Briefing reporters, he said on Monday that one agreement, three Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) and one letter of intent would be signed during the visit, the first by any prime minister since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972.

"In the last two decades, bilateral relations have been effectively developed as a result of increasing multilateral cooperation in various fields. Moreover, the excellent bilateral relations between the two friendly countries are undeniable in maintaining regional peace and stability," he said.

The agreement related to visa waiver for the official passport holders, MoUs related to energy cooperation, tourism and customs and the letter of intent to start the discussion for Free Trade Agreement would be signed.

The prime minister will leave for Thailand on Wednesday and will return on April 29.

She will first attend the UN meeting in Bangkok and then the official visit will begin with the formal reception accorded by her Thai counterpart Srettha Thavisin on April 26.

She will be given a guard of honour.

After that, a bilateral meeting will be held between the two prime ministers at the Government House of Thailand.

Bangladesh and Thailand will be able to utilize the immense potential of the tourism sector to achieve mutual benefits through joint activities and exchange of expertise in the areas of human resource development, Buddhist circuit tourism promotion, and investment in tourist areas, the foreign minister said.

"This cooperation in the tourism industry will create significant economic growth and employment opportunities in both countries,” he added. 

Besides, visa exemption for official passport holders of Bangladesh and Thailand will facilitate communication between government officials of both countries and government officials will be able to attend various meetings, seminars and trainings on time.

Thailand is a key member of the Southeast Asian countries grouping Asean.

Myanmar is also a member of that economic association.

During the visit, the foreign minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will make a strong request to be a “Sectoral Dialogue Partner” of the Asean – a long pending demand. 

The prime minister will also call upon the Asean countries to take effective measures to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

During the visit, the prime minister will have a Royal audience of Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshan, King and Queen of the Kingdom of Thailand at the Palace.

She is also scheduled to attend a state lunch to be hosted by her Thai counterpart in her honour.

Finance Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud and PM’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman will accompany the prime minister during the visit.

State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak and State Minister for Commerce Ahasanul Islam Titu will also be part of the Bangladesh delegation.

UN engagement

Before the official visit, the prime minister will attend the meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Unescap).

A video message of the prime minister was played at the inaugural session of the meeting on Monday, the foreign minister said.

The theme of the meeting is “Leveraging digital innovation for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific”.

She will deliver a speech on April 25.
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Armida Salsiah Alisjabana will also call on the prime minister.

The foreign minister said Unescap is conducting various cooperative activities in different areas.

It is providing technical support to the BBIN connectivity project. ESCAP is also providing the necessary technical support to build the Asian Highway Network and Cross Border Paperless Trade system, he said.

Besides, ESCAP is providing necessary support to Bangladesh in various fields like LDC graduation, domestic revenue mobilization, women's economic empowerment, and disaster risk reduction.

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