Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

PM to leave for Bangkok Wednesday morning

  • A six-day official visit 
  • Will hold bilateral talks with her Thai counterpart Thavisin
  • Bangladesh, Thailand will sign number of cooperation documents


Update : 23 Apr 2024, 11:14 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave Dhaka for Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday morning on a six-day official visit at the invitation of her Thai counterpart Srettha Thavisin to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries.

A flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, carrying the premier and her entourage members, is expected to depart Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10am, said the premier's speechwriter, Md Nazrul Islam.

The aircraft is scheduled to land at Don Mueang International Airport, Bangkok, at 1.30pm.

"It's both a bilateral and multilateral visit," said Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud at the curtain-raising press conference at his ministry on Monday, marking the both bilateral and multilateral visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Thailand from April 24 to 29.

He said the visit is significant for both sides as it will open a new window of cooperation between two friendly countries (Bangladesh and Thailand).

It will be the first bilateral visit for the prime minister since the formation of this government in January.

During her visit, the Bangladesh premier will hold bilateral talks with her Thai counterpart Thavisin and also attend the 80th session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap).

Bangladesh and Thailand will sign a number of cooperation documents, including a letter of intent on negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries, said the foreign minister.

Bangladesh and Thailand are likely to sign an agreement on visa exemption for official passport holders, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on energy cooperation, and two more MoUs on tourism sector cooperation and duty-related mutual cooperation to expand the relations, he said.

The foreign minister said the visit will create an opportunity to review the potential "free trade agreement" between the two countries for the expansion of trade and increase in imports and exports.

During the visit, Hasan said Dhaka will strongly raise the issue of Bangladesh's appeal to become a "Sectoral Dialogue Partner" of Asean.

He said Bangladesh will reiterate its urge to Thailand, as a member of Asean, to play a more proactive role in the Rohingya repatriation process amid the ongoing political conflict inside Myanmar.

"As Thailand and Myanmar both belong to Asean, the Rohingya issue will be discussed with due importance," he said.

Hasan said cooperation in the areas of investment, tourism, energy, land, and sea connectivity will also be discussed during the high-level visit.

Bangladesh and Thailand could utilise the immense potential of the tourism sector through joint activities and the exchange of expertise in the areas of human resource development, Buddhist circuit promotion, and making investments in the travel and leisure industries, he said.

"This cooperation in the tourism industry could create significant economic growth and employment opportunities in both countries," said the foreign minister.

On April 26, the premier will be formally received by her Thai counterpart, Srettha Thavisin, while a ceremonial guard of honour will be accorded to her.

On the same day, the Bangladesh premier will hold bilateral talks with Thavisin at the Government House (prime minister's Office) following a tete-a-tete between the two leaders, witness the signing of the documents, participate in a joint press conference, and then attend a state lunch to be hosted by her Thai counterpart in her honour.

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.

In her multilateral engagement, the prime minister is scheduled to attend the 80th session of Escap and deliver a speech there on April 25.

On the same day, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Escap Executive Secretary Armida Salsiah Alisjabana will call on the prime minister.

Guided by the theme "Leveraging digital innovation for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific,"  the eightieth session will be an opportunity to strengthen region-wide cooperative action on leveraging digital innovation for the accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The session will bring together government leaders and ministers from across Asia and the Pacific and other key stakeholders to discuss how digital innovation can more inclusively contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals across multiple disciplines.

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