Fakhruddin, Maung Aye talk road to China via Myanmar

October 7, 2008 | By admin | Reply More

Maritime boundary, direct road link gas import boosting of bilateral trade, enhancing cooperation between the armies of the two countries dominated the talks between Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed and the visiting Myanmar delegation led by Vice-Chairman of the ruling State Peace and Development Council of Myanmar Vice-senior General Maung Aye, at the Chief Adviser’s office yesterday.

“In the talks the chief adviser has proposed to extend the proposed road-link up to China,” foreign adviser Dr Iftekhar told a press briefing after the talks.

“We have also proposed to have a tripartite meeting involving China and our two countries. Myanmar side said that they would let us know about their decision after exploring the feasibility as, according to them, there are issues of resource mobilisation,” he added.

Asked about tentative date for the construction of the 23-km road connecting Bangladesh and Myanmar, he said it would be clear after tomorrow’s meeting with Communications Advisor Maj Gen (retd) Golam Quader. Bangladesh earlier pledged to provide financial support for the 20.3 million road.

He said that the chief adviser requested the Myanmar side to resolve the  issue of the maritime boundary through further talks and both sides agreed on it. “We have requested the Myanmar general to use his political clout to solve the problem and to provide the required political direction.”

Responding to a question on this issue foreign secretary Touhidur Rahman said that Myanmar was not engaged in any kind of exploration in the areas, which Bangladesh claimed as its own.

Myanmar agreed to Bangladesh proposal to increase the quantum of export of rice to one-lakh ton from 50,000 on a regular basis. It was decided that the commerce ministries of the two countries will finalise the matter in a couple of days.

Bangladesh also proposed to import gas from Myanmar through a pipeline to use it for producing fertiliser to be exported to Myanmar to meet its demand. They responded positively to the proposal Foreign adviser said that both sides agreed to resolve the Rohingya refugee crisis. “Presently 21 thousand Rohinga refugees are staying in Bangladesh and we have proposed to repatriate them immediately through a tripartite mechanism involving Myanmar, UNHRC and Bangladesh,” he said adding that the Myanmar side agreed to resolve the problem through further talks.

The meeting also stressed the need for boosting the bilateral trade from the present 140 millions dollar to 500 million dollar.

“In this connection we have agreed to increase import of fresh fish from Myanmar and to increase exports of pharmaceutical products from Bangladesh. These will be finalised through further talks between the commerce ministries and the private sector delegations between the two countries,” he said.

Following the meeting an agreement on avoiding double taxation was signed between the two countries.

Replying to a question, the foreign adviser said that since the issue of contract farming in Myanmar land by Bangladeshi farmers was a complicated one it would require further discussions.

Asked to detail the nature of cooperation between the armies of the two countries, he said that the areas of such cooperation are training, exchange of visits and best practices.

He said that in recent years the relations between the two countries reached a new height and it is expected that it would be warmer further after the visit of the high profile 55 member Myanmar delegation including involving six ministers.

Press Secretary to the chief adviser Syed Fahim Munaim was present at the briefing and later told newsmen that the attitude of the Myanmar side was very positive.

Agencies add: The chief adviser, Dr Chowdhury said, proposed inclusion of China in the road link project for tripartite benefit while General Maung Aye assured him of considering the proposal.

The foreign adviser said, Dr Fakhruddin also proposed direct air link between Dhaka and Yangon alongside the road connectivity for increased trade relations.

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Category: Development, South Asia

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