Bangladesh, Bhutan for connectivity to boost trade

Diplomatic Correspondent

25 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh and Bhutan have agreed to explore and undertake all measures to promote, facilitate, expand and diversify bilateral trade to maximise the benefits of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) signed between the two countries.

The two countries at a summit-level meeting in Dhaka on Wednesday also agreed to activate the riverine routes and build more ports of call to facilitate trade and commerce.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Bhutanese counterpart Dr Lotay Tshering led their respective delegations at the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The PTA between Bangladesh and Bhutan was signed on December 6, 2020 coinciding with the launch of the event to mark the 50th anniversary of Bhutan’s recognition of Bangladesh.

Bhutan is also the country with which Bangladesh signed its first PTA. Bhutan was the first country to recognise Bangladesh on December 6, 1971 as an independent country, 10 days before the birth of Bangladesh.

The relations between the two countries began in 1971 when Bhutan stood by Bangladesh in its war against Pakistan.

“Bhutan has very special and close relations with Bangladesh. Therefore, the Prime Minister of Bhutan has come to join the celebrations of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence even during this pandemic,” a top government official told the Daily Sun.