Bhutan Prime Minister, Dr Lotay Tshering attended Bangladesh's Golden Jubilee celebrations

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Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering was in Bangladesh from 23 March to 25 March 2021 on official visit as the Special Representative of His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, King of Bhutan,

Bhutan Prime Minister, Dr Lotay Tshering, who studied medicine in Bangladesh, arrived in Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HISA) on March 23. The official visit is part of the 10-day golden jubilee anniversary celebrations and birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering was the fourth among world leaders to arrive in Dhaka. 

A VVIP aircraft of Bhutan's national carrier, Drukair carried Prime Minister Tshering and other entourage members. They landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HISA) around 9:30am. Bangladesh's Prime Minister Hasina welcomed Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering at the VVIP tarmac of the airport with a flower bouquet. The visiting leader was subsequently given a tri-services guard of honour at the airport.

Several Ministers, State Ministers, and high-ranking civil and military high officials were also present at the airport.

Prior to the entourage, twenty-two artists from Royal Academy of performing arts (RAPA) and four journalists from Bhutan arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal international airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 19 morning.

Tshering then went to the National Martyrs' Memorial in Savar to pay tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War of Bangladesh. He signed the visitors' book and planted a sapling next to the one he planted on April 12, 2019. 

He also visited the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation.

"On behalf of the people and the Royal Government of Bhutan, I offer my humble respect and prayers to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for rising above the manacles of foreign exploitation and blessing the nation onto a path of unprecedented peace, prosperity and stability," the Bhutanese premier wrote in the visitors' book, reports BSS.

His daughter Sheikh Hasina is now fulfilling Bangabandhu's vision of 'Sonar Bangla', and with each passing year, Bangladesh is becoming more prosperous and its people are becoming happier, he also wrote.

". . . thank you [Bangabandhu] for being a true leader. Amar Desh, Tomar Desh . . . B/desh, B/desh [my country, your country . . . Bangladesh, Bangladesh]," Tshering wrote.

Dr. Lotay Tshering also paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Md. Abdul Hamid, Hon’ble President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

In the evening of 23 March, Tshering attended a cultural programme and a banquet hosted by Hasina in his honour.

H.E. Dr. Lotay Tshering delivered the Bangabandhu Memorial Lecture at the National Parade Ground as a Special Guest at the programme organized to celebrate the Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu.

On 24 March 2021, an official meeting was held between Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The meeting emphasized boosting trade, connectivity, and cooperation in energy between the two South Asian nations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Bhutan noted that the visit is “an exceptional gesture of friendship and goodwill that so happily exist between the two countries.”

Their meeting acknowledged the impact of the pandemic to the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Bhutan. In December 2020, the two countries signed a Preferential Trade Agreement. They agreed that all-out efforts must be made to overcome the pandemic’s negative impact, and highlighted the need to hold the Commerce Secretary Level Meeting and Foreign Office Consultation at the earliest possible time. Foremost on the agenda is the amendment of the standard operation procedure on the use of inland waterways and the finalization of the Transit Agreement Protocol.

They also called for enhanced private sector cooperation, and urged their Chambers of Commerce to explore innovative ways of doing business. Both leaders also promoted the use of the riverine route among importers and exporters for the transport of goods as an alternative to using the road route.

They also agreed to explore the possibilities of rail connectivity through the recently inaugurated Chilahati-Haldibari rail inter-link between Bangladesh and India.

Prime Minister Hasina reiterated that Bangladesh’s seaports are open to Bhutan. Bangladesh’s strategic geographical location opens up trade opportunities in the region for all countries in the SAARC, BIMSTEC and BCIM to be connected by road.

Noting the substantial progress made in the signing an MOU among Bangladesh, Bhutan and India on trilateral cooperation in hydropower, Prime Minister Hasina and Prime Minister Tshering called for a Secretary-level meeting among Bangladesh, Bhutan, and India to move forward with the discussions. Bangladesh and Bhutan also agreed to explore the potential of bilateral cooperation in this sector.

 



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