Dhaka, Thimphu to ink 6 MoUs during PM’s Bhutan tour


DHAKA, April 17, 2017 (BSS) – Bangladesh and Bhutan are expected to sign six deals coinciding with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Thimphu tour while water management, hydro-power, connectivity and trade were likely to dominate her officials talks there.

The premier is set to leave Dhaka for the Bhutanese capital tomorrow on a three-day official visit to attend an international conference on autism.

Briefing newsmen on the eve of her visit Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali said the premier would hold bilateral talks with her Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay at Gyalyong Tshogkhang immediately after her arrival there while the meeting would be followed up by signing of six memorandums of understanding (MoUs).

He said the deals involves issues of avoidance of double taxation, using inland water route, quality control of goods and agricultural products and allotment of land for permanently construction of Bangladesh embassy building in Thimphu.

“She (Sheikh Hasina) will lay foundation stone of Bangladesh’s Permanent mission in Thimhu in presence of Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck,” he said.

The premier will also join various programmes in line with the Royal customs and make courtesy call on the Bhutanese King and Queen.

Responding to a question on cooperation on hydropower, Ali said the premier’s tour to Bhutan was scheduled as discussions were underway on import of hydro power from Bhutan while a pre-feasibility study was already launched in this regard.

“Bangladesh government will invest 100 crore dollars for importing hydro-electricity from Bhutan . . . efforts are being made to import electricity from Nepal as well,” he said.

The foreign minister said the Bangladesh premier would join as the chief guest the “International Conference on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ANDD 2017)” to be kicked off at the Royal Banquet Hall in Thimphu on April 19.

In the afternoon, Sheikh Hasina will chair the high-level discussion titled “Enabling countries to successfully address autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders as part of their Sustainable Development Goals”.

Bangladesh and Bhutan’s health ministries are jointly staging the event with the technical support of Shuchona Foundation (previously known as Global Autism, Ability Bhutan Society (ABS), and World Health Organization (WHO).

The theme of the conference is “Developing effective and sustainable multi-sectorial programs for individuals, families and communities living with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Apart from opening and closing ceremonies, a number of technical sessions will be held in the conference inc which over 250 representatives from 31 countries and international organizations including NGOs, civil society, UNICEF, UNDP, UN Women, IOM and UNESCO will attend the global event.

Government leaders, policymakers, experts and activists from around the globe will discuss strategic viewpoints to raise awareness about autism in the conference.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Prime Minister’s Adviser Dr. Gowher Rizvi, State Minister for Health Jahid Malik, Chairperson of Shuchona Foundation Saima Wazed Hossain and senior government officials will accompany the Prime Minister during the visit.

The Prime Minister will return home on April 20.