Dhaka for boosting regional connectivity

Diplomatic Correspondent

17 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Friday said that Bangladesh has tried to boost the connectivity with its neighbouring countries and has been playing a leading role through regional cooperation, including the BIMSTEC.

He said Bangladesh has taken initiative to connect the country with Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, and Myanmar with the ASEAN and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh delivered a speech at the plenary session “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity” of the International Conference “Central and South Asia: Regional connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities” on Friday at the Congress Hall in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Momen expressed thanks and gratitude to the Uzbek President for inviting to participate in this very important International Conference and noted that the conference has been organised at an appropriate time for expanding regional cooperation during the challenging pandemic period when the whole world requires coordinated efforts.

He said Bangladesh is also trying to engage herself in various connectivity projects through road, rail, and sea routes with the neighbouring countries.

The Foreign Minister also showed an example that Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and India (BBIN) signed a landmark Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) in 2015 for the regulation of passenger, personnel, and vehicular cargo traffic among these countries.

Momen referred to the long-standing common cultural and civil bonds of the Central and South Asian regions which serve as the foundation for people-to-people relations through education, tourism and cultural exchange and can be established both by road and air.

He proposed that bilateral agreements like Trade Facilitation, Avoidance of Double Taxation, visa support and other trade favourable measures would be the ground to ease and expedite the cooperation among the countries. Momen said he firmly believes that through combined efforts, all states will be able to establish a good connectivity between two regions opening new avenues of cooperation for the benefit.

During the session, Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres and the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, as well as the Foreign Ministers of participating States and International financial organisations also delivered their speech. Secretary General of the UN also sent a video message on the conference.