Bangladesh and Nepal want to discuss with India the modalities for early implementation of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) to boost connectivity in the region.
Bangladesh and Nepal recognised that operationalisation of BBIN MVA will further flourish the trade and people-to-people connectivity in the region.
The agreement is yet to come into force as ratification by Bhutan pending. Both Bangladesh and Nepal have agreed to discuss with India the modalities for early implementation of the deal.
The two South Asian countries discussed the matter at the second Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) between Bangladesh and Nepal held on Sunday in the city.
Foreign Secretary MdShahidulHaque led a 10-member Bangladesh delegation while his Nepalese counterpart ShankerDasBairagi led a nine-member team.
The relevant ministries of Bangladesh and Nepal, including that of Energy, Power, Commerce, Trade and Higher Education, were represented at the respective delegation. The first FOC was held in Dhaka in July 2012.
To promote bilateral trade, investment and tourism, Bangladesh and Nepal also emphasised establishing multimodal connectivity, including railway and air connectivity between the two countries.
They stressed the regular holding of Joint Working Groups under sub-regional cooperation involving India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan for mutual benefit.
During the meeting, the two Foreign Secretaries also stressed comprehensive engagement and further cooperation between the two countries in the areas of power sector cooperation, tourism, culture and people-to-people contact to widen and deepen a more engaging and result-oriented relationship.
Considering the request of the Nepalese Foreign secretary, the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary assured to allocate two seats annually for Nepalese junior diplomats in the Foreign Service Academy of Bangladesh to receive specialised diplomatic training course which was highly appreciated by the Nepalese side.
Referring to the humanitarian crisis relating to the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals, the Foreign Secretary of Nepal applauded the role of Bangladesh government in handling the situation by saying ‘Bangladesh has shown the greatest sense of humanity’.
Referring to the Nepalese Prime Minister’s speech at the 72nd UNGA, he also added that forcible eviction of people is a serious crime against humanity.
At the meeting, the major focus was given on the issues of bilateral trade, connectivity, power and energy cooperation, higher education and human resource development.
Both the Foreign Secretaries agreed that the bilateral trade volume is still far below the potential.
They agreed on examining existing tariffs, and removal of non-tariff barriers and para-tariff measures to enhance bilateral trade.
They also agreed on exchange of trade delegations, arranging trade fairs, exhibitions and Single Country Trade Fair.
It was also agreed that the pending MoUs on Bilateral Trade Promotion and Protection Agreement, Bilateral Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation between the two countries will be finalised soon.
Nepal also agreed to hold the Commerce Secretary-level talks in Kathmandu at the earliest.
The Foreign Secretary of Nepal expressed his deep appreciation to the government of Bangladesh for the warm hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation.