Nepal, Bangladesh review different aspects of bilateral relations

Himal Press 18 Apr 2024
Nepal, Bangladesh review different aspects of bilateral relations

KATHMANDU: The third round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between Nepal and Bangladesh was held in Kathmandu on Wednesday.

Foreign Secretary Sewa Lamsal led the Nepali delegation in the FOC, while the Bangladesh delegation was led by Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Masud Bin Momen.

“During the FOC, the whole gamut of bilateral relations was reviewed. Both the foreign secretaries expressed satisfaction with the excellent bilateral relations that exist between Nepal and Bangladesh. They discussed all the major issues of mutual interest and agreed to promote cooperation encompassing all sectors, especially trade and commerce, transit and connectivity, power and energy sector, tourism, culture, and education,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “Both foreign secretaries emphasized the operationalization of the BBIN MVA framework to contribute to the individual country’s economy not only by expanding trade and connectivity but also by creating more opportunities to promote people-to-people contacts.”

Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Secretary Lamsal called for exploration of the untapped potential in economic, cultural, and educational areas and proposed to establish meaningful collaborative partnerships including in the private sector. She added that Nepal would like to pursue more trade and investment cooperation with Bangladesh.

She also urged the Bangladeshi side to explore investment opportunities in Nepal, including in the hydropower sector, and also requested the Government of Bangladesh to eliminate the existing Other Duties and Charges (ODCs) levied on Nepali products being exported to Bangladesh.

Likewise, Foreign Secretary Momen of Bangladesh called for expediting the tripartite power agreement among Bangladesh, India, and Nepal so that Bangladesh can import power from Nepal. He also thanked the Government of Nepal for allocating land for the construction of a monastery in Lumbini, which he said would be a milestone in bilateral relations and enhance people-to-people contacts.

Both foreign secretaries discussed regional issues of mutual interest. They also underscored the necessity of revitalizing SAARC and strengthening BIMSTEC for promoting regional cooperation. The two also agreed to cooperate with each other at various multilateral forums, especially at the UN, to pursue common interests, especially in the areas of LDC graduation, poverty alleviation, climate change, and the safety and security of migrant workers.

Meanwhile, an MoU between the Institute of Foreign Affairs of Nepal and the Foreign Service Academy of Bangladesh was also signed by the two foreign secretaries on the sidelines of the FOC.

Published On: 18 Apr 2024


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