DHAKA, Nov 26, 2020 (BSS) – The Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Bangladesh and Bhutan will be signed in December to further boost trade and commerce between the two neighbouring countries.
“All necessary work on the PTA has been completed, and it will be inked next month,” newly-appointed Bhutanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Rinchen Kuentsyl said today.
The Bhutanese envoy apprised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the issue when he paid a courtesy call on her (PM) at her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.
After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.
“Bangladesh is not only our friend, it’s also our trade partner,” the ambassador said, adding that Bangladeshi garment products are very popular in Bhutan.
Rinchen Kuentsyl highly appreciated the pragmatic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and said Bangladesh’s economy is growing strongly under her leadership.
He also praised Bangladesh’s contributions to the socioeconomic development as well as human development of Bhutan.
The Bhutanese envoy mentioned that a good number of Bhutanese students, particularly medical students, are studying in Bangladesh.
“We want to promote this matter for mutual benefits,” he said.
Expressing satisfaction over the existing ties between Dhaka and Thimphu, Rinchen Kuentsyl said he would work to take forward the bilateral relations during his tenure in Bangladesh.
In reply, the prime minister termed Bhutan as a friendly neighbour and said it was the first state to recognize Bangladesh as an independent country in 1971.
She said the two countries have “wonderful relationship” and recalled her visits to Bhutan.
Referring to the cooperation in different fields between the two countries, Sheikh Hasina expressed the hope that this cooperation will continue in the days to come.
The premier told the envoy that Bhutan can use Bangladesh’s airports including Syedpur Airport as well as seaports like Chattogram and Mongla ports for the mutual benefits.
The prime minister and the ambassador also discussed the coronavirus issue, the press secretary said.
Rinchen Kuentsyl informed the premier that 353 people have so far been infected with the lethal virus in Bhutan, but nobody died.
Sheikh Hasina pointed out that the people of all professions and classes including administration, the armed forces, police, BGB as well as her party leaders and activists are working together to contain the Covid-19 in Bangladesh.
The prime minister said her government has been giving highest importance to agriculture sector to ensure food security of the people.
Prime Minister’s Office Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Mian was present on the occasion.