The Financial Express | 13 March 2023
Push for free trade agreement between Bangladesh, Nepal
Bangladesh has suggested exploring the possibilities of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Nepal to increase two-way trade.
Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen made the proposal while addressing a seminar titled "Celebrating 50 Years of Bangladesh-Nepal Friendship: Shared Vision of Peace, Progress and Prosperity" on Sunday.
Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organised the seminar.
The foreign minister mentioned that the two countries have a lot of potentials for mutual cooperation in the fields of energy, tourism, education, migration, and connectivity.
He pointed out that both Nepal and Bangladesh are graduating from LDC in 2026. Thus, both countries have enormous opportunities to work together for a smooth LDC graduation.
Ghanshyam Bhandari, Ambassador of Nepal to Bangladesh, Dr Swarnim Wagle, Chair, The Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), Kathmandu, Ambassador Mashfee Binte Shams, Rector, Foreign Service Academy, Bangladesh, and Major General Sheikh Pasha Habib Uddin, Director General, BIISS, also spoke on the occasion.
Ghanshyam Bhandari highlighted that Nepal and Bangladesh share a common commitment to global peace and have avenues for further expansion of trade and investment opportunities. They also have scope for exploring hydropower potential and a great potential for tourism prospects together.
The Nepalese ambassador also emphasised the need for sharing mutual experiences, lessons and best practices for planning a better future.
Major General Sheikh Pasha Habib Uddin said the two countries have a vast scope of cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, connectivity, energy cooperation, education, and tourism.
"Bangladesh and Nepal have enormous scope to work and enhance cooperation under the sub-regional and regional platforms", he said, adding that Bangladesh and Nepal can also work together to take the bilateral relationship forward and enhance collaboration in hydropower and infrastructure development.
Senior officials from different ministries, ambassadors, high commissioners, former diplomats, senior military officials, media personalities, researchers, business people, teachers and students from various universities, and representatives from different think tanks, and international organisations attended the programme.