First Bilateral Consultations between Bhutan and Bangladesh

The Royal Govemment of Bhutan and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh had the first Bilateral Consultation on 2 April, 2013 in Dhaka. The Bhutanese delegation to the Consultation was be led by Foreign Secretary Yeshey Dorji and will include officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During the Consultation, the two sides will share views on important political and economic issues including exchange of views of regional and international issues of mutual interest.

A foreign ministry news release stated that the two governments will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding formally establishing the Bilateral Consultation as an annual feature of the relations between the two countries.

Relations between Bhutan and Bangladesh date back to the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent country in 1971. Bhutan was among the first countries to recognize the independence of Bangladesh and there is tremendous goodwill and cooperation between the two countries. Diplomatic relations between the two countries was established in 1973 and resident missions were set up in 1980.

Bangladesh is among Bhutan’s major trading partner with total trade estimated at about Nu 1.4bn in 2011. The trade agreement signed between the two countries allows for duty free access of 18 categories of Bhutanese product to Bangladesh which has been catalytical in boosting Bhutanese exports to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has been supporting Bhutan’s HRD mainly in health. Currently, there are about 120 Bhutanese students in Bangladesh pursuing various courses in the field of medicine and engineering.

While in Dhaka, Foreign Secretary Yeshey Dorji will call on Her Excellency Dr. Dipu Moni, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.

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