Apr 24, 2014, 12:49 pm (BST)
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Bangladesh, Nepal agree to establish connectivity boosting trade, tourism
DHAKA, March 31 (BSS) - Bangladesh and Nepal today agreed to establish connectivity to boost trade and investment, Commerce Minister GM Quader said here today.

"We've agreed to take tripartite initiatives with India to establish connectivity" Quader told reporters after meetings with Nepalese and Moldavian ministers.

Nepalese Commerce and Supplies Minister Lekh Raj Bhatta and Maldives Tourism, Art and Culture Minister Abdul Gafur Ahmed Aqdeeb separately met the Bangladesh Commerce Minister at Sonargaon Hotel here.

State Minister for Economic Development of the Maldives Amin Abdullah, Vice-Chancellor of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh, Shubhashish Bose, and Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce Mortuza Reza Chowdhury and high officials of the ministry of commerce were present.

The ministers of the SAARC countries are now in Dhaka to attend the "11th SAARC Trade Fair and Tourism Mart-12" that began here on Friday. Quader said, despite potentials, trade with Nepal remains below expectation. "We plans to establish with Maldives by air or sea," he said.

Lack of proper connectivity with Nepal is hurting trade and tourism. "Establishment of connectivity through India can turn Bangladesh into an economic hub of the region." The minister said secretary-level meeting with Nepal and Bhutan would be held in the second week of May to discuss about establishment of the connectivity.

The secretary-level meeting with India is already done, he said adding that everything regarding connectivity would be discussed in details during the meetings.

During the today's meeting, he said, various issues regarding organizing single country trade fair in Nepal and setting up a permanent display centre and acceptance of lab testing certificates came up for discussion.

Both Bangladesh and Maldives agreed to form a joint package program to enrich hospitality and tourism industry, said Quader.

Bangladesh imported goods worth US$1,5 million from Maldives last year against the export of less than one million US dollar, according to the ministry of commerce, Bangladesh.

Besides, Bangladesh imported products at US$ 49 million from Nepal while exported about US$ 10 million.
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