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Dhaka Tribune

PM Hasina departs for Thailand on six-day visit

  • Bangladesh, Thailand to sign cooperation documents
  • PM to attend 80th ESCAP session 
Update : 24 Apr 2024, 10:34 AM

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

A special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the premier and her entourage departed Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10:13am, said PM’s Speechwriter Md Nazrul Islam.

The prime minister is scheduled to land at Don Mueang International Airport, Bangkok, at 1:30pm local time.

"It is both a bilateral and multilateral visit," Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud said at a media briefing on Monday.

This is the first-ever visit at the level of head of government from Bangladesh to Thailand since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972.

During her visit from April 24 to 29, the Bangladesh premier will hold bilateral talks with 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 ties, he said.

Bangladesh will seek support from Thailand regarding Rohingya repatriation as well as increased investment, said Hasan Mahmud adding that the issue of shipping connectivity will also be discussed.

On Friday, Sheikh Hasina will be formally received by her Thai host Srettha Thavisin while a ceremonial guard of honor 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 there.

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, Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to attend the 80th Session of ESCAP and deliver a speech there on Thursday.

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 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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