Bangladesh-Nepal Relations Reviewed in Visit of Nepal Foreign Minister
19 February 2020
Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Nepal, undertook an official visit to Bangladesh in February 2020. His meetings included bilateral talks with Mr. AK Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Bangladesh on 18 February, and a courtesy call to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 19 February.
Mr. Momen and Mr. Gyawali led Bangladesh and Nepal delegations in a meeting that reviewed different aspects of bilateral relations. The parties exchanged views on further expanding and strengthening cooperation and discussed
- Expansion of two-way trade through removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers, simplification of administrative procedures, facilitating measures at border points;
- Development of multi-modal connectivity networks;
- Improved transit facilities and promotion of investment;
- Collaboration in tourism promotion;
- Enhancement of cooperation in energy sector; and
- Promotion of cultural cooperation and furthering cooperation in the education sector.
The meeting emphasized the importance of maximizing all mechanisms to advance bilateral cooperation and partnership. They also underscored the importance of exchanging high level visits. Bangladesh expressed hopes that a high level visit from Nepal would take place in the near future.
Courtesy call to Prime Minister Hasina
The Nepalese Foreign Minister called on Prime Minister Hasina on 19 February. In their meeting, the Prime Minister offered Nepal use of Bangladesh’s airport and seaport facilities. Bangladesh is undertaking improvements to internationalize the Syedpur Airport to help promote regional connectivity. Along with Syedpur Airport, Bangladesh also offered Nepal, as well as Bhutan, use of Chattogram and Mongla seaports.
Bangladesh prioritizes cooperation with its neighbors, emphasized the Prime Minister. Access to Bangladesh’s airport and seaport is part of its commitment to regional connectivity for shared prosperity. Prime Minister Hasina has consistently advocated for transit facilities for Nepal as part of Dhaka’s campaign for enhanced regional connectivity under the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) initiative.
They also discussed cooperation in the power sector, and bilateral trade and commerce. According to the Prime Minister, joint hydropower projects between Bangladesh, India, and Nepal would be a good example of regional cooperation. Nepal can offer hydropower resource, while Bangladesh already purchases electricity from India.