Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit strengthens Dhaka-Bangkok relations

Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh arrived at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok at 1:08 pm (local time) on April 24th, marking the beginning of her official visit to Thailand. The Prime Minister was warmly received at the airport, signaling the significance of her visit to strengthen bilateral ties and participate in the 80th Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The Prime Minister’s journey began earlier in the day as she boarded a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight from Dhaka at around 10:00 am. Accompanying her on this important trip are a high-level delegation that includes Finance Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud, and several other key officials such as Salman F Rahman, the prime minister’s private industry and investment affairs adviser, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, and State Minister for Commerce Ahsanul Islam Titu.

One of the significant highlights of this visit is the expected signing of several bilateral agreements between Bangladesh and Thailand. Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud informed the media on Monday that Bangladesh and Thailand are set to sign a letter of intent for negotiations on a free trade agreement. Additionally, agreements on visa exemptions for official passport holders, energy cooperation, and two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) related to tourism sector cooperation and duty-related mutual cooperation are also on the agenda.

The bilateral talks between Prime Minister Hasina and her Thai counterpart, Srettha Thavisin, are scheduled to take place at the Government House on April 26th. Following the talks, both leaders will witness the signing of these important documents and hold a joint press conference. A state lunch hosted by the Thai Prime Minister in honor of Sheikh Hasina will follow these events.

In a significant diplomatic gesture, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also have a Royal audience with King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshan of Thailand at the Royal Palace. This meeting underscores the importance and warmth of the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Thailand.

On the multilateral front, Prime Sheikh Minister Hasina is scheduled to attend the 80th Session of ESCAP and deliver a speech on April 25th. This session will provide an opportunity for the Prime Minister to engage with leaders and representatives from other member countries, discussing key economic and social issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region.

During her visit, Prime Minister Hasina will also meet with Armida Salsiah Alisjabana, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and ESCAP Executive Secretary. This meeting will likely focus on strengthening cooperation between Bangladesh and ESCAP and discussing key initiatives and programs aimed at promoting sustainable development in the region.

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud highlighted the importance of this visit, stating that “An agreement, three MoUs, and one letter of intent will be signed with Thailand during this visit.” He also confirmed that an MoU on the energy sector will be among the agreements signed, reflecting the shared interest of both countries in enhancing energy cooperation.

The official itinerary indicates that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will return to Dhaka on April 29th, concluding her fruitful visit to Thailand. This visit is expected to further strengthen the longstanding and friendly relations between Bangladesh and Thailand, opening new avenues for cooperation in trade, energy, tourism, and other key sectors.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Thailand holds great significance for both countries. Through bilateral talks, the signing of key agreements, and participation in the ESCAP session, the visit aims to deepen ties, foster mutual understanding, and promote regional cooperation. As both Bangladesh and Thailand continue to grow and develop, such high-level visits and engagements play a crucial role in shaping the future of their partnership and contributing to peace, prosperity, and progress in the Asia-Pacific region.


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