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PM's Bhutan visit: Dhaka to discuss $1bn investment in hydropower project

  • Published at 09:23 pm April 17th, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:20 pm April 17th, 2017
PM's Bhutan visit: Dhaka to discuss $1bn investment in hydropower project
The Bangladesh government expects to discuss a potential investment of $1 billion in a hydropower project in Bhutan with the country's government during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's three-day visit to the country this week. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali made the statement during a press briefing on the tour at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday. The prime minister is flying to Bhutan on Tuesday to attend the International Conference on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in the country's capital city Thimpu. She will be the chief guest at the conference, which is scheduled to begin on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Bangladesh premier is going to meet with the country's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay to discuss bilateral and regional issues, the foreign minister told reporters. “Bangladesh plans to invest $1 billion in hydroelectricity project in Bhutan. We will have the largest share of the power produced by the hydroelectricity plant. We will be able to purchase the power at a proportionate rate because of our investment,” he added. The minister said the government expected to get 1,000MW from the project. Bangladesh has a similar plan regarding Nepal, he added. Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque said: “We are discussing our potential involvement in Bhutan's hydroelectricity project. We expect to signatripartite MoU with Bhutan and India during the Bimstec Summit in Nepal later this year. The three governments concerned are close to reaching an understanding regarding this deal.” Bangladesh and Bhutan will also discuss river basin-based water resource management, sub-regional cooperation, connectivity, cultural cooperation, agriculture and business, the foreign minister said. Bangladesh expects to sign at least six agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoU) during this visit. In addition, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lay the foundation of Bangladesh Embassy in Bhutan, ministry officials said. The conference is being organised by the health ministries of Bangladesh and Bhutan in collaboration with Dhaka-based NGO Shuchona Foundation, Thimpu-based NGO Ability Bhutan Society, and World Health Organisation (WHO) Southeast Asia regional office. Saima Wazed Hossain, member of WHO’s expert advisory panel on mental health, took the initiative to organise the conference at WHO’s request. Sheikh Hasina will return home on Thursday.