Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu
Marking the occasions of the Golden Jubilee of Independence and the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) premiered 'Gonohotta Poribesh Theatre' (Genocide Environment Theatre) festival on Friday in 64 districts. Liaquat Ali Lucky, Director General of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, inaugurated the festival at Meherpur Government College Campus at 6.30 p.m. State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain attended the inauguration event as the principal guest, while Meherpur Superintendent of Police Md Rafiul Alam attended as the special guest.
Multinational military exercise "Shantir Ogroshena - 2021" (Front Runner of Peace) will begin here on Sunday to commemorate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and mark glorious 50 years of Bangladesh's Independence. Indian Army contingent comprising of 30 personnel including Officers, JCOs and Jawans of a Battalion from The DOGRA Regiment will participate in the exercise along with contingent of Royal Bhutan Army, Sri Lankan Army and Bangladesh Army. Also read: Multinational military exercise "Shantir Ogroshena" to begin Apr 4 The theme of the exercise (April 4-12) is - Robust Peace Keeping Operations, according to Indian Ministry of Defence. Military observers from USA, UK, Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore will also be in attendance throughout the exercise. Also read: Bangladesh-India joint military exercise ends in Tangail An Indian Air Force AN-32 airlifted a 30-member Contingent of the Dogra Regiment of the Indian Army to Dhaka on Saturday.
Multinational military exercise "Shantir Ogroshena - 2021 (Front Runner of the Peace) will be held in Bangladesh from April 4-12 marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of Bangladesh's Independence. Indian Army contingent comprising of 30 personnel including officers, JCOs and Jawans of a Battalion from The DOGRA Regiment will participate in the exercise along with contingent of Royal Bhutan Army, Sri Lankan Army and Bangladesh Army. Also read: Bangladesh-India joint military exercise ends in Tangail The theme of the exercise is - Robust Peace Keeping Operations, according to Indian Ministry of Defence. Military observers from USA, UK, Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore will also be in attendance throughout the exercise.
A red carpet was rolled out at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HISA) on Friday morning as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on a two-day official visit. The Indian Prime Minister is the fifth among the world leaders after the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan to attend the celebrations of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the country’s independence. It is Modi's first visit outside India since the start of the pandemic. Also read:Modi to bring 12 lakh more vaccine doses as gift for Bangladesh During his stay, he is also scheduled to visit the Orakandi temple in Kashiani upazila of Gopalganj, with an eye on wooing the Matua community in view of assembly elections in West Bengal, where they number nearly 30 million and can influence the vote in a number of seats. Orakandi serves as the headquarters of the community. Modi will also visit the Jessoreswari Devi Temple at Ishwaripur under Shyamnagar in Satkhira district. The VVIP aircraft carrying the Indian Prime Minister and his entourage landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HISA) at 10:30am. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina welcomed her Indian counterpart at the VVIP tarmac of the airport presenting him a flower bouquet. The Indian Prime Minister was received by a 19-gun salute, followed by a guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force at the airport. Both the prime ministers witnessed the state honour staying on the makeshift dais while the national anthems of the respective countries were played. Later, the Indian prime minister also inspected the parade. Also read:India committed to deepening ties with Bangladesh: Modi On the occasion, ministers, state ministers, civil and military high officials, among others, were present at the airport.
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun has said Bangladesh is echoing the miracle on the Han River, a major river in South Korea, with its remarkable economic development and rapid emergence in the heart of Asia. "The international community has been deeply impressed to see that Bangladesh, even in the midst of the covid pandemic when the world economy has slowed down, succeeded in achieving the greatest level of economic growth," he said. The South Korean Prime Minister made the remarks in a congratulatory video message marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of Bangladesh’s Independence. "We’ll be the most trusted friends to Bangladesh, together ushering in a shining future," he said. His video message was screened on Thursday at the National Parade Ground celebration. Also read: Korean companies in Bangladesh hold meeting with Embassy officials Sye-kyun said he has every confidence that Bangladesh, with the benefit of the vision and leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as it takes this remarkable path of astounding development, will shape an even more shining future of greater prosperity. "As it has been over the last half a century, Korea will continue to be by the side of Bangladesh in the next half a century, for the welcoming in of a future of even fuller promise," he said. The areas of cooperation, which had been more focused on the textiles and garment industry, have expanded to encompass a diverse range of fields such as ICT, construction, energy and culture, thereby creating more windows of opportunity. Recently, the Korean Export Processing Zone, which is a symbol of bilateral economic cooperation, has embarked on a project to build a Hi-Tech Park with the Bangladesh government. "I’m confident that this Park will emerge as a hub for ICT-centric innovative growth in tune with the digital transformation in the post-Covid era," said the Korean Prime Minister. Also read: Bangladesh, Korea to explore untapped potential There are already more than 200 Korean companies operating in Bangladesh contributing to the economic development of the two countries. The South Korean Prime Minister said there are great expectations that Bangladesh will take further tremendous strides forward, as it is anticipated to graduate from the LDC status in 2026. The Republic of Korea will be a trusted friend to Bangladesh in moving forward to embrace the future together, he said. Sye-kyun, on behalf of the South Korea and its people, extended his sincere congratulations on the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He said Korea and Bangladesh have continued to nurture the ties of friendship over the last nearly half a century since the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1973. Also read: Korean envoy discusses investment issues with BEPZA Executive Chairman In 2017, he visited Bangladesh as the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. "Such a visit was an excellent opportunity to bolster the bonds of friendship between our two countries and deepen the ties of cooperation," he said, adding, "I am delighted to connect with you again through this video message in this very meaningful year of 2021." He said Korea and Bangladesh share common ground - both have the proud legacy of triumphing over colonial rule. Sye-kyun said the noble sacrifice of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who had devoted his life to the struggle for the independence of Bengali nation and to secure the Bengali language as the national language, reminds them of the sweat and blood of our ancestors who were martyrs for the protection and building of nation.
Bangladesh, a newly-emerged developing nation, is all set to celebrate its 50th Independence Day on Friday with remarkable socio-economic progress. This year’s Independence Day bears more significance as the country is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Independence alongside the birth centenary celebration of Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. A 10-day special programme marking the 50 years of independence and the birth centenary of Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that started on March 17 at the National Parade Square will end on Friday. Indian Prime Minister Modi will join the celebrations. Also read: Covid-19: Bangladesh records 3-month high 34 deaths; 3,587 fresh cases Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering also attended the 10-day special programme in person. Many global leaders, including Queen Elizabeth II, Pope Francis, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Unesco Director General Audrey Azoulay sent messages, marking the celebrations. On March 26, 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Bangladesh's independence following the crackdown on unarmed Bangalees on the midnight of March 25 by Pakistani occupation forces. After a nine-month War of Liberation with the supreme sacrifices of three million people and the honour of 200,000 women, Bangladesh finally achieved its independence on December 16, 1971. Also read: With focus on taking ties to a new height, Modi arrives Friday The day will begin with a 50 gun-salute which is a public holiday. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages extending heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to the people of the country at home and abroad. President Abdul Hamid, in his message, said, “On the eve of 'Mujib Barsho' and the Golden Jubilee of our Independence, with the joint efforts of all, may our beloved motherland become a developed country free from hunger and poverty -- this is my expectation on the great Independence Day.” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said, “The independence earned through the supreme sacrifices of millions of people is the greatest achievement of Bangalee Nation. To ensure that the achievement remains meaningful, all have to know the true history of our great Liberation War and respect the spirit of independence. The spirit of the Liberation War has to be propagated from generations to generations.” Also read: Bangladesh celebrates Independence Day with caution “Let’s vow on this auspicious occasion of the Golden Jubilee of independence- imbued with the spirit of the Great War of Liberation, we all together will build hunger- poverty- and illiteracy-free Golden Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” she added. National dailies will bring out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Expressing happiness that his first foreign tour after the onset of Covid-19 would be to Bangladesh, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said that New Delhi is committed to deepening and diversifying its ties with Dhaka. "Our partnership with Bangladesh is an important pillar of our Neighbourhood First policy, and we are committed to further deepen and diversify it," Modi tweeted on the eve of his two-day state visit to Dhaka. "We will continue to support Bangladesh's remarkable development journey, under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's dynamic leadership," the Indian PM stressed. Modi will visit Bangladesh on March 26-27 to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of the country's independence and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Indian PM is also slated to visit Bangabandhu's birthplace. Also read: Modi lauds Bangladesh’s remarkable growth under Hasina's leadership "I am happy that my first foreign visit after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic will be to our friendly neighbouring country, with which India shares deep cultural, linguistic and people-to-people ties," Modi said in a pre-departure statement released by the Indian government. "I will be having substantive discussions with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, following our very productive virtual meeting in December last year. I also look forward to my meeting with His Excellency President Abdul Hamid, and to interactions with other Bangladeshi dignitaries," he said. Describing Bangabandhu as one of the tallest leaders of the last century, the Indian PM said, "I look forward to my participation at the National Day celebrations tomorrow, which will also commemorate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman." "Bangabandhu was one of the tallest leaders of the last century, whose life and ideals continue to inspire millions. I look forward to visiting Bangabandhu’s Samadhi in Tungipara to pay my respects to his memory," he added. Also read: Delhi to bolster defence ties with Dhaka during Modi's visit Indian Foreign Ministry Wednesday said that Delhi and Dhaka will strengthen bilateral defence and security ties and "are also likely to ink a number of pacts during Prime Minister Modi's visit". “Both sides will be signing a range of agreements during Modi's visit. These agreements will be covering a number of areas of our cooperation -- disaster management, oceanography and trade," Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told the media Wednesday. "A number of new announcements -- bolstering cooperation in areas ranging from health, railway connectivity, border development and start-ups -- are also expected to be made," he had said. Talks on bolstering defence and security cooperation between the two countries are also on the agenda of Modi's meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, according to the top Indian diplomat. Also read: Modi to bring 12 lakh more vaccine doses as gift for Bangladesh "Security and defence is an important part of our cooperation with Bangladesh. We have in recent years signed an agreement on defence cooperation with Bangladesh and undertaken joint military, training and capacity building exercises on a regular basis," Shringla had said. India and Bangladesh share a 4,096-kilometre-long international border, the fifth-longest land border in the world. Both countries also share historical, civilisation and cultural ties.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his Bangladesh visit will be an occasion to convey appreciation for Bangladesh’s remarkable economic and developmental strides under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership. His visit will also be an occasion to commit India’s abiding support for these achievements. "My visit will not only be an occasion to convey appreciation for Bangladesh’s remarkable economic and developmental strides under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership, but also to commit India’s abiding support for these achievements," Modi said adding that he will also express India’s support and solidarity for Bangladesh's fight against Covid-19. In a pre-departure statement, Modi said he will be having "substantive discussions" with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, following their very productive virtual meeting in December last year. Also read: India committed to deepening ties with Bangladesh: Modi Modi is scheduled to arrive here on Friday morning on a two-day state visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. "I am happy that my first foreign visit after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic will be to our friendly neighbouring country, with which India shares deep cultural, linguistic and people-to-people ties," he said. The Indian Prime Minister said he looks forward to his participation at the National Day celebrations on Friday, which will also commemorate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. "Bangabandhu was one of the tallest leaders of the last century, whose life and ideals continue to inspire millions," he said. Also read: Modi to bring 12 lakh more vaccine doses as gift for Bangladesh Modi said he looks forward to visiting Bangabandhu’s Samadhi in Tungipara to pay my respects to his memory. He will be offering prayers to Goddess Kali at the ancient Jashoreshwari Kali Temple, one of the 51 Shaktipeeths in the Puranic tradition, according to the Press Information Bureau of India. "I am particularly looking forward to my interaction with representatives of the Matua community at Orakandi, from where Sri Sri Harichandra Thakur ji disseminated his pious message," Modi said. He will meet President Abdul Hamid, and will have interactions with other Bangladeshi dignitaries. The Indian Prime Minister said Bangabandhu's vision continues to light the Bangladesh-India friendship. "I had the privilege of honouring his memory during my previous Bangladesh visit," he said. Also read: Delhi to bolster defence ties with Dhaka during Modi's visit Modi said he will again pay homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, alongside Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during the ongoing Mujib Borsho celebrations. Earlier, he said Bangabandhu was a champion of human rights and freedom, and is a hero to Indians as well. He also said the legacy and inspiration of Bangabandhu has made the heritage of both countries more comprehensive and deep-rooted, and that the path shown by Bangabandhu has laid a strong foundation for the partnership, progress and prosperity of both countries over the last decade.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged people to take a vow afresh not to allow anyone to hinder Bangladesh’s democratic and development progress by playing ducks and drakes with their fate. “On this auspicious occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Independence, we’ve to vow afresh that no one can play ducks and drakes with the fate of the people of Bangladesh. No one can hinder the country’s democratic and development progress,” she said. The Prime Minister was addressing the nation on the eve of Independence Day 2021. State-owned Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar simultaneously broadcast the Prime Minister’s speech at 7:30 pm on Thursday. Private television channels and radio stations also aired the speech. The Prime Minister called upon people to work for building Bangladesh as a developed, prosperous and non-communal Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal) as dreamt by the Father of the Nation. “Let’s build Bangladesh as a developed, prosperous and non-communal Sonar Bangla by forgetting all the differences and being imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War,” she said. Noting that the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Independence just should not be a formality, she said, “On the occasion of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and the Golden Jubilee of Independence, we’ve to take vow afresh to take our country to a new height.” Also read: Make a vow to implement Bangabandhu’s dreams: PM Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has achieved an unimaginable success in the socio-economic index as a result of her government’s tireless works over the past 12 years. Last month, she said, Bangladesh received the final recommendation to graduate from the least developed country (LDC) group. “Bangladesh has not only surpassed its neighbours in various indexes like life expectancy, gender equality, universal primary education, women education, women's political rights, women and child mortality, sanitation and food availability, but also exceeded many developed countries in many cases,” she said. But the path of this development has not been smooth at all as the anti-liberation forces inside and outside the country carried out various ill-motivated activities to hinder the progress of Bangladesh. “This process still continues. So, we all will have to resist all the anti-state attempts by playing the role of vigilant watchdogs.” Sheikh Hasina said passing half a century of independence is a significant milestone for the life of a nation. “For us, this Golden Jubilee celebration has become more colorful as Bangladesh Awami League, forming the government, started running the government with the ideology of Liberation War. Today, Bangladesh has stood raising its head in the world as a proud country proving all the negative and pessimistic predictions against Bangladesh wrong, she said. Even a decade ago, Sheikh Hasina said, Bangladesh was presented as an example of poverty. “But today development experts are presenting Bangladesh as a role model for poverty alleviation and development.” Also read: Develop the habit of reading: PM Hasina Presenting the current picture of several socio-economic indicators compared to the 2005-06 fiscal year, she said the per capita income increased to US$ 2,064 now from just US$ 543, while the poverty rate dropped to 20.5 percent from 41.5 percent, the GDP size rose to Tk 2800,000 crore from only Tk 482,337 crore, and the foreign currency reserve to US$ 44 billion from only US$ 0.744 billion during the period. She said the budget size has increased to Tk 568,000 crore in the current fiscal year from only Tk 61,000 crore in 2005-06 fiscal year, while the average life expectancy to 72.6 years in 2019-20 fiscal from 59 years in 2005-06 fiscal, the infant mortality rate has come down to 28 from 84 per thousand, the maternal mortality rate to 165 from 370 per lakh and the power generation capacity has increased to 24,421 megawatt from 4,900 megawatt. “Today's achievement is, in fact, the achievement of the common people of this country,” she added. She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had declared the Independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of March 26, 1971 just before he was arrested by Pakistani army. His announcement spread across the country through the wireless of the then EPR, she said. The independence of Bangladesh had come as the result of the 24-year continuous political struggle. And Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had led from the front in this struggle from the beginning to the end, said Sheikh Hasina, also the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu. Also read: PM Hasina leads from front in battle against pandemic: Envoy “Today, we’re proud citizens of independent and sovereign Bangladesh thanks to the birth of that great man named Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib. Today, we’re proud of our own country, language and culture because he was born,” said the PM. Sheikh Mujib is the creator of a country and a state. “So, we’re celebrating his birth centenary and the golden jubilee of independence simultaneously,” she said. On the eve of the Independence Day, the PM extended her sincere greetings to all the citizens of Bangladesh living at home and abroad. Sheikh Hasina thanked the people of Bangladesh for keeping Bangladesh Awami League, the political party that led the Liberation War, in power while celebrating these two important milestones in the national life.
Bangladesh has said regional connectivity is one of the most important means of trade and that Bangladesh’s unique geographical location in the region provides an opportunity for all countries in the SAARC, BIMSTEC and BCIM to be connected by road. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came up with the view during her conversation with her Bhutanese counterpart Dr Lotay Tshering. She reiterated the offer to Bhutan for full access to Bangladesh’s seaports, according to a joint statement between Bangladesh and Bhutan issued on Wednesday night. The Prime Ministers noted the substantial progress made in the past towards signing an MoU among Bangladesh, Bhutan and India on trilateral cooperation in hydroelectricity. In order to move forward, they agreed that a Secretary-level meeting among the three countries should take place at an early date. They also decided to explore the possibility of bilateral cooperation in this sector. Dr Tshering thanked the government of Bangladesh for its support towards the establishment of the Third International Internet Gateway and Bhutan’s proposal to purchase bandwidth from Bangladesh, which will ensure the reliability of internet and communications for Bhutan. The discussions between the agencies concerned of the two governments are at an advanced stage and he expressed the hope that the two sides will soon be able to agree on a rate that is mutually acceptable. Also read: I'm here to hear Bangladesh story sitting next to Hasina: Bhutanese PM The two Prime Ministers agreed to explore the possibilities of rail connectivity between Bangladesh and Bhutan through the recently inaugurated Chilahati-Haldibari rail interlink between Bangladesh and India. The Prime Minister of Bhutan, who arrived on March 23 on a state visit, is scheduled to leave here for home on Thursday morning. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will see him off at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Dr Tshering paid the visit as the Special Representative of Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, King of Bhutan, to celebrate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence. He was accompanied by senior officials of the Royal government of Bhutan and a cultural delegation. The visit of Dr Tshering to Bangladesh at a time of the global pandemic is an exceptional gesture of friendship and goodwill that so happily exist between the two countries. He laid a floral wreath at the National Martyrs’ Memorial at Savar as a mark of respect to the memory of the sacrifices of the great freedom fighters of Bangladesh. He also visited the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum to pay tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Dr Tshering paid a courtesy call on President Abdul Hamid. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hosted a banquet in honour of Dr Lotay Tshering. Also read: PM for building infrastructures to reap highest benefits from PTA Foreign Minister Dr Momen met Prime Minister of Bhutan at the latter’s place of residence on March 23. Dr Tshering delivered the Bangabandhu Memorial Lecture at the National Parade Ground as a special guest at the programme organised to celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu. The official discussions between Bangladesh and Bhutan were held at the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday in a warm and cordial atmosphere reflecting the time-tested friendship between the two countries. During the official discussions, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh recalled with gratitude the invaluable support of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and the people of Bhutan towards Bangladesh’s fight for independence. In commemoration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence, the two Prime Ministers paid tributes to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the valiant freedom fighters, 3 million martyrs, and two hundred thousand women and children who suffered oppression during the war. The two Prime Ministers recognised with deep satisfaction the manner in which the historic ties between Bhutan and Bangladesh have evolved over the years into a mutually beneficial relationship. They stated the kinship, which is based on goodwill, friendship and understanding, is an example of good neighborliness, mutual respect, and cooperation. Taking note of the challenges imposed by the ongoing pandemic, the two Prime Ministers congratulated each other for successful, effective, and timely initiatives taken by the respective governments. Dr Tshering expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister and the government of Bangladesh for the support rendered to Bhutan during the pandemic, including the provision of medical supplies. The two Prime Ministers expressed happiness that both Bhutan and Bangladesh are well on track to graduate from the club of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in 2023 and 2024 respectively despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the recent signing of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). They, however, noted that bilateral trade has been severely affected by the pandemic and that all-out efforts must be made to overcome the setbacks. Also read: Bangladesh, Bhutan to examine rail network through India The two Prime Ministers emphasized holding the Commerce Secretary Level Meeting (CSLM) and Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) as soon as possible, and amend the SOP on the use of inland waterways, and finalise the Protocol to the Transit Agreement on a priority basis. The two leaders emphasised the need for enhanced private sector cooperation, for which the Chambers of Commerce should come up with innovative ways of doing business. They also encouraged importers and exporters of Bangladesh and Bhutan to use the riverine route for the transport of goods as a viable alternative to road links. As a special gesture of goodwill and friendship, and as part of the celebrations of 50 years of Bhutan’s recognition of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina decided to provide Bhutan internet bandwidth at a friendly rate Following up on the decision taken during Prime Minister Tshering’s visit in April 2019, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed happiness at the fact that a total of 19 physicians and surgeons have joined various hospitals in Bhutan, and are serving there with good reputation. They expressed happiness that an increasing number of Bhutanese students are choosing Bangladesh as their preferred destination for undergraduate studies, particularly in medicine. Bangladesh agreed to increase the number of annual MBBS quota seats for Bhutanese students from 15 (fifteen) to 20 (twenty). It has also been decided that Bangladesh will issue multiple entry visa to Bhutanese students for full duration of their study subject to the validity of their passports. The Prime Ministers viewed that the cultural cooperation between the two countries should be further strengthened in order to promote people-to-people contact, and that, in commemoration of the 50th year of our friendship, the two countries should exchange cultural delegations. Dr Tshering expressed his deep appreciation for the cordial welcome and warm hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation during their stay in Bangladesh. He extended invitations to the Hon’ble President and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to visit Bhutan.