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Nepal, Bangladesh to develop waterways



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By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu, Feb. 20: Nepal and Bangladesh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop waterways in the rivers that connect Nepal and Bangladesh.
The two neighbours have agreed to develop new connectivity network during the visit of Nepal's Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali from February 17-19.
He made his maiden Bangladesh visit as the foreign minister at the invitation of his Bangladeshi counterpart Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen.
The visit of FM Gyawali was also successful in forging understanding in further enhancing connectivity network by making direct air services between the nearest cities in the two countries, upgrading roads and railways.
He said that his Bangladesh visit was successful in strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries and creating understanding in the areas of trade, investment and connectivity. "We have made key agreements in terms of bilateral trade and investment, infrastructure, waterways, agriculture and education," he said while talking with the media upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport Wednesday after concluding his three-day official visit.
He said that Nepal and Bangladesh had agreed to find additional potential in promoting the bilateral trade, removing the trade barriers, lowering the tariff and increasing the exportable goods.
There were discussions in promoting the trade and creating balance in trade between the delegations of the two countries.
FM Gyawali said that Bangladesh was positive in providing simple and easy transit facility to allow Nepal in utilising the facility to the optimum provided by the former.
Similarly, the two countries agreed to enhance Bangladeshi investment in Nepal's energy, agriculture and tourism sector.
"The two countries signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) to harness the tourism potentials in both nations through bilateral cooperation. I also have urged the Bangladeshi government to support Nepal in making the Visit Nepal Year 2020 a success by sending more tourists to Nepal on the occasion" said the Minister.
Bangladesh has also given a positive nod in helping Nepali students pursuing medicine and engineering education in Bangladesh.
FM Gyawali and his Bangladesh counterpart Dr. Momen held delegation-level bilateral talks on Tuesday.
Both the Ministers made a comprehensive review of all aspects of bilateral relations and exchanged substantive views on further expanding and strengthening cooperation between the two countries, said the Embassy of Nepal in Dhaka in a statement.
Expansion of two-way trade through removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers, simplifications of administrative procedures, facilitating measures at border point, development of multimodal connectivity networks, improved transit facilities and promotion of investment; collaboration in promoting tourism, enhancement of cooperation in energy sector, promotion of cultural cooperation, furthering cooperation in education sector were the main subjects of discussions between the two sides.
The two Ministers also exchanged views on cooperation on regional and global issues of common interests.
The two sides underlined the importance of revitalising all mechanisms to advance bilateral cooperation and partnership. The meeting also underscored the importance of the exchanging high-level visits. The Bangladeshi side expressed hope that high level visit from Nepal would take place in near future, read the statement.
Bangladesh has expressed interest and pledged support in developing and trading hydroelectricity resources. FM Gyawali met Bangladeshi Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Tuesday afternoon. He also made courtesy calls to Bangladeshi President Mohammad Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina where he emphasised on strengthening bilateral relations in the interest of the people of both the neighbours.
"I have extended invitation to President Hamid and PM Hasina for high-level participation in the Sagarmatha Sambad from Bangladesh," said Gyawali. The government has initiated a dialogue platform to discuss various regional and international issues and the first edition of it will be held from April 2-4 and will deliberate on climate change.
During his visit, FM Gyawali delivered a lecture at the Bangladesh Institute of International Strategic Studies and visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum where he paid tribute to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Father of Bangladesh. 

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