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Biz World - Diplomatic - March 14, 2023

India, Thailand agree to include Bangladesh in Highway project

Staff Correspondent: Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has said that India and Thailand have no objection in including Bangladesh in the Trilateral Highway project.
However, Myanmar is yet to give a reaction on the matter, the foreign secretary told reporters after the third ‘Foreign Office Consultation’ meeting at the foreign ministry yesterday.
Bangladesh expressed its willingness to join the project during the meeting, Momen said, adding that both India and Thailand representatives said they do not have any problem with Bangladesh’s inclusion. “But the question remains, how will Myanmar react?”
He further said, “Apart from connecting to the Trilateral Highway, air connectivity and maritime connectivity issues were also discussed in the meeting.”
Mentioning that currently 35 flights per week are being operated on the Dhaka-Bangkok route, the foreign secretary said more flights will be launched if the demand increases in the future.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is ready to be signed with Thailand to increase air connectivity, Momen said, adding that more possibilities will be created between the two countries once the agreement is implemented.
Sarun Charoensuwan, permanent secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led the delegation from the country at the Foreign Office Consultation.
“We can help each other. Bangladesh is our good friend. In the future, Bangladesh is going to graduate from LDC status. We have the potential to work together in many areas and can support each other on various aspects,” Sarun said.
Stating that there was a fruitful discussion in the meeting, Foreign Secretary Momen said, “Bangladesh’s current trade volume with Thailand is $1 billion. It can easily be doubled. We want to take it to $2 billion in the near future, the government is working on it.”

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