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President Hamid in Kathmandu, holding bilateral meets today



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By Modnath Dhakal

Kathmandu, Nov. 13: President of Bangladesh Mohammad Abdul Hamid arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday on a four-day official goodwill visit.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari welcomed her Bangladeshi counterpart at the VVIP Hall at the Tribhuvan International Airport in the afternoon.
Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth received President Hamid at the airport while panchakanyas offered him flower bouquet.
A troop of Nepal Army offered guard of honour to the visiting president.
Similarly, live arts and cultural programmes from all seven provinces were exhibited upon his arrival at the TIA.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ishwar Pokhrel, Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ and Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali also reached the airport to welcome the top-level guest from Bangladesh.
President Hamid visited Bhaktapur Durbar Square in the afternoon on Tuesday. He directly flew to Bhaktapur in a chopper from the TIA. Mayor of Bhaktapur Sunil Prajapati welcomed him at the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
President Hamid observed temples, historical heritages and arts, including the 55-window palace, golden gate and the five-storey temple with high interest.
He also observed Devi Dance and Manka Dance as well. He appreciated the heritage an d Nepal's efforts to preserve them for the future generations. Minister Mahaseth and Nepali Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr. Banshidhar Mishra accompanied the VVIP guest in Bhaktapur.
The visiting President is scheduled to meet President Bhandari Wednesday afternoon at the Sheetal Niwas where they will hold bilateral meeting and discuss on various bilateral issues. President Bhandari will organise a banquet in honour of the guest. President Hamid is in Nepal at the invitation of President Bhandari.
President Hamid will have a hectic schedule on Wednesday as he will have separate courtesy meeting with Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Chairman of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina on the same day.
Chairman of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, president of the main opposition Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba and senior leaders of the political parties will also call on President Hamid on Wednesday. He will

go to Chandragiri and Pokhara during his entourage.
He is scheduled to return to Dhaka on Friday.
Bangladesh was the 26th largest trade partner of Nepal in the last fiscal year 2018/19 with Rs. 4.24 billion import and Rs. 1.29 billion export.
Nepal has Rs. 2.94 billion trade deficits with Bangladesh. The trade deficits seem growing this year as the deficit is Rs. 1.31 billion just in the first three months of the current fiscal year. Nepal exported goods worth Rs. 391 million to Bangladesh and imported goods of Rs. 1.7 billion during the same period.
Trade between the two countries was promoted following the opening of the Kankadbhitta-Phulbari-Banglabandh transit route in 1997, and Nepal had trade surplus with Bangladesh till 2013/14.
Nepal and Bangladesh had singed a Trade and Payments Agreements and a Transit Agreement in 1976. The latter has allowed Nepal to use Khulna-Chalna and Chitagong ports and Biral, Banglabandh, Chilhati and Benapole points at the Bangladesh-India border.
Nepal exports green vegetables, animal feed and herbals to Bangladesh and imports garments and food items from Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the major destinations for medical education for Nepali students while Nepal is a destination for Bangladeshi tourists.