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Call for revival of SAARC

Call for revival of SAARC

The third Round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between Nepal and Bangladesh was held in Kathmandu on Wednesday. Foreign Secretary Sewa Lamsal led the Nepali delegation while Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Masud Bin Momen led the Bangladeshi delegation.   

The two sides discussed regional issues of mutual interest, underscoring the need to revitalize SAARC and strengthen BIMSTEC for the promotion of regional cooperation. They agreed to cooperate at various multilateral forums, especially at the UN, for pursuing common interests, especially in the areas of LDC graduation, poverty alleviation, climate change, and safety and security of migrant workers.

They discussed all major issues of mutual interest and agreed to promote cooperation encompassing all sectors, especially trade and commerce, transit and connectivity, power and energy, tourism, culture and education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a press release.

Both foreign secretaries emphasized the operationalization of the BBIN MVA framework to contribute to the individual country’s economy not only by expanding trade and connectivity, but also by creating more opportunities to promote people-to-people contacts.

Foreign Secretary Lamsal highlighted the need to tap full potential in economic, cultural and educational sectors through a meaningful collaborative partnership between the two neighbors by involving their private sectors. 

Nepal would like to enhance trade and investment cooperation with Bangladesh, Lamsal said and asked Bangladesh to explore investment opportunities in Nepal, including in the hydropower sector. Furthermore, she requested the Government of Bangladesh to eliminate the Other Duties and Charges (ODCs) levied on Nepali products being exported to Bangladesh. Lamsal also emphasized the exchange of visits at different levels.

Foreign Secretary Momen stressed the need for an early conclusion of a power agreement between Bangladesh, India and Nepal to enable his country to import power from Nepal. He thanked the Government of Nepal for allocating land for the construction of a monastery in Lumbini, expressing hope that it would turn out to be a milestone in bilateral relations.