Bangladesh, Nepal Sign MoUs Boosting Sanitary and Phytosanitary Cooperation and Railway Connectivity

22 March 2021

The Governments of Bangladesh and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Strengthening Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Cooperation on 22 March 2021. SPS, as well as technical barriers to trade (TBT), serves as critical nontariff measures that constrain trade in the SASEC subregion. Bangladesh and Nepal have been in discussion to relax SPS measures to promote bilateral trade of their farm and other organic products.

The MoU was signed by Mr. Md Mesbaul Islam, Senior Secretary Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of Bangladesh and Mr. Dinesh Bhattarai, Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies of the Government of Nepal, in the presence of Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari.

Expanding Railway Links

In addition, the two countries also signed an MoU on the Letter of Exchange designating the Rohanpur–Sighbad Railway Route as an additional route in the Bangladesh–Nepal Transit Agreement. This is set to further promote bilateral trade and give a boost to subregional connectivity among Bangladesh, India, and Nepal.

The MoU was signed by Mr. Md Jafar Uddin, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, of the Government of Bangladesh, and Mr. Dinesh Bhattarai, Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies of the Government of Nepal.

Bangladesh and Nepal also signed MoUs on Tourism Cooperation and Cultural Exchange Program for the year of 2022-2025.

Meeting with Prime Minister Hasina

President Bhandari visited Nepal to attend celebrations for the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. On the afternoon of 22 March, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid a courtesy call to President Bhandari. The meeting reviewed matters of mutual interest and bilateral cooperation, including

Emphasis on need to sign a Preferential Trade Agreement between Bangladesh and Nepal. Prime Minister Hasina underscored how this will mutually benefit both countries. She also noted that cooperation in trade and commerce will further tap into Bangladesh and Nepal’s potentials;

Increasing trade and commerce among Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India, through utilizing Bangladesh’s Chattogram and Mongla ports, and the Syedpur Airport. Prime Minister Hasina opened the use of the ports and airport for landlocked Nepal; and

Noting that the trilateral cooperation on hydropower among Bangladesh, India, and Nepal will benefit all three countries.

President Bhandari also thanked Prime Minister Hasina for supplying Nepal with fertilizer, helping meet Nepal’s urgent demand in February. She also expressed her admiration for Prime Minister Hasina's leadership.

Read the full Press Release.


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