Dhaka, Sept 15: Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Thursday said that the launching of road communication with Bhutan via a third country would boost bilateral trade, commerce and tourism.
He also opined that communication between Bangladesh and Bhutan through Syedpur regional airport and Burimari and Banglabandha land ports would enhance bilateral trade and commerce and yield better outcomes for the two countries.
The commerce minister said this when a nine-member delegation of Bhutan, led by its Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs Dasho karma Tshering, met him at his secretariat office today, said a Commerce Ministry press release.
Describing Bhutan as “a close friend of Bangladesh”, Tipu said that Bhutan was the first country to recognize Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign state during the War of Liberation which Bangladesh recalls always with gratitude.
He mentioned that Bangladesh has already declared Syedpur Airport as a regional airport to set up air communication with Bhutan and other neighboring countries and has also undertaken necessary development activities for the airport.
The commerce minister said that the Bhutanese students can avail of high standard chartered accountancy education in Bangladesh.
He also noted that the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) signed between the two countries on December 6, 2020 has ushered in a new era between the two countries.
Commerce Ministry additional secretary Nur Md Mahbubul Haque and other high officials of the ministry were present on the occasion.
Earlier on Wednesday, the two-day 8th commerce secretary level meeting between Bangladesh and Bhutan ended in the capital with a set of decisions, including finalizing transit agreement and protocol in a bid to strengthen implementation of the PTA signed between the two countries.
Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh led the 20-member Bangladesh delegation while Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of Bhutan Dasho karma Tshering led the nine-member Bhutanese delegation during the two-day parley.
The other decisions taken in the meeting were simplifying communication through a 3rd country as well as taking initiatives for simplifying trade and commerce, boosting mutual cooperation to flourish tourism industry, enhancing mutual cooperation between Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) and Bhutan Standard Bureau (BSB), Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority.
The other major decisions taken in the meeting were boosting mutual cooperation to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers in trade and importing stones from Bhutan through Sonarhat Land Port alongside transporting Bhutanese products.
Under the signed PTA, Bangladesh would get duty-free access of some 100 Bangladeshi products to Bhutanese market while on the other hand Bhutan would get duty-free access of 34 of their products to Bangladesh market.
The next secretary-level meeting between Bangladesh and Bhutan would be held in Bhutan.