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Power cooperation vital for Bangladesh, Nepal connectivity

3rd Nepal-Bangladesh Business Forum held

Nepalese Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barshaman Pun said Thursday that cooperation between Nepal and Bangladesh in power sector is a vital component for connectivity between the two neighboring countries.

Addressing 3rd Nepal-Bangladesh Business Forum in Kathmandu, Minister Pun said that the need for cooperation in power sector between Bangladesh and Nepal was realised long time ago. “The energy ministerial level visits between the two nations in 2014 and 2016 had laid the foundation to frame cooperation in power sector between the two nations,”

Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between two countries in 1972, the relations between Nepal and Bangladesh have been based on cordiality, goodwill, mutual understanding and cooperation that spread across political, economic, tourism and education arenas, Pun told the participants after inaugurating the Forum, which was jointly organised by the Bangladesh Embassy in Kathmandu and the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA).

The 3rd Nepal-Bangladesh Business Forum had the theme, ‘Navigating the Next Phase with Socio-Economic Cooperation.’

“We both countries share common understandings that sub-regional, regional electricity connectivity is necessary for balancing energy supply and demand in the region,” Pun said adding generating resources available in the region should be done to enhance the sustainable energy development in the region.

Stating that Nepal has shared electricity transmission lines with India; and Bangladesh has transmission lines with India, he said both Nepal and Bangladesh could utilise these transmission lines share power between them.

The commitment of both Nepal and Bangladesh in achieving the common goals of sub-regional and regional electricity connectivity was displayed through their willingness to collaborate on interconnection among the member states of BIMSTEC through the memorandum of understanding, he said

Bangladesh Ambassador to Nepal, Mashfee Binte Shams said both Bangladesh and Nepal have been going through a rapid social, economical and political transformation. “In this context we need to cooperate together and workout our synergy regarding where we can cooperate and support each other,” she said adding, this sort of seminar could help stakeholders of both nations in finding where they could cooperate for mutual benefit.

Energy is one of the critical areas for cooperation between Bangladesh and Nepal is moving ahead successfully, Ambassador Binte Shams said, adding that the extensive discussions among stakeholders of both nations would enable them to identify more areas of cooperation.

Sunil KC, CEO of AIDIA, said that the Forum had aimed at bringing together businessmen and media persons of two countries to help realise socio-economic development of Nepal and Bangladesh.

KC said that Nepal and Bangladesh could gain mutual benefits by cooperating in electricity trade. He further said that the Bangladesh Ambassador Binte Shams helped set up Nepal-Bangladesh Business Forum and the previous two Forum meeting held in 2016 and 2017 were huge success.

He also informed that Bangladesh would soon construct a monastery in Lumbini which showed the country’s commitment in boosting Buddhism pilgrimage site at the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

The 3rd Nepal-Bangladesh Forum had two sessions- the first being, ‘Strong Media Cooperation For Enhancing Bilateral Ties’ and the second session was, ‘Expanding Multimodal Connectivity for Mutual Economic Growth.’

Former UN Ambassador Madhu Raman Acharya was the keynote speaker in the first session chaired by former Minister for Information and Communication Mohan Basnet. Dr. Golam Rasul, Chief Economist, ICIMOD was the key note speaker in the second session chaired by Madhusudan Adhikari, Secretary, Ministry of Physical Infrastrucutre and Transport.