PM’s visit gives Dhaka-Phnom Penh ties a new dimension: FS

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PHNOM PENH, Dec 5, 2017 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Cambodia visit has given a different dimension to Dhaka-Phnom Penh ties as it would usher in a new horizon of boosting the bilateral trade and commerce in the coming days.

“The relations between Bangladesh and Cambodia got a different dimension because of the relationship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also her successful visit to Cambodia,” Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque told reporters after the bilateral talks between the two countries.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim was present at the briefing.

About the outcome of the official talks between the two countries that took place earlier in the day at the Peace Palace, the foreign secretary said that the talks were held in a very warm and cordial environment with the two sides discussing a wide range of bilateral issues.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the Bangladesh side during the official talks while his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen led the Cambodian side.

He said that at the last stage of the talks, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen addressed Sheikh Hasina as his ‘sister’ in an emotional voice.

In response, Sheikh Hasina also addressed the Cambodian Prime Minister as his ‘brother’ which demonstrates a different type of relationship between the two countries.

“Now this relationship will have to be translated into many ways and the bilateral trade between the two countries will get a boost in the days to come,” he said.

The foreign secretary said that this visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Cambodia turned out to be successful as Bangladesh needs to add its friend in the ASEAN alongside diversifying its businesses.

“Besides, there is also a need to open up embassies of Bangladesh and Cambodia in each other’s country,” he added.

Haque also recalled the meeting between Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and late King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk during the NAM Summit in Algiers in 1973.

Referring to Bangladesh’s stride towards graduating from the LDC status by 2018, the foreign secretary said that Cambodia also wanted to learn from the experience of Bangladesh as to how the country would be graduated from the LDC status.

Mentioning that Cambodia has decided to open up its market for the Bangladeshi investment, he said Cambodia has requested the Bangladeshi businesses to invest in its food processing industries and import pharmaceuticals from Bangladesh as Cambodia now imports most of its pharmaceutical products from India.

He said that being a member of the ASEAN, Cambodia has a very good access to the ASEAN and they have FTA with many countries.

“In the fields of agriculture and pharmaceuticals, I can see a very clear opportunity of the Bangladeshi business community in Cambodia,” noted the foreign secretary.

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