London: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has invited Bhutan to build an economic zone in Bangladesh for mutual benefits of the two neighboring countries.
“We’re establishing economic zones in Bangladesh. You can build an economic zone in our country which will be known as Bhutan Economic Zone,” she said.
The premier made the offer when Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema met her on Saturday at the Claridge Hotel where she is staying during her UK visit.
Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana received the Bhutanese king and the queen on their arrival at the hotel.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen briefed the reporters after the meeting that lasted 50 minutes.
Hasina informed the Bhutanese king that Bangladesh has already given economic zones to India, Japan and South Korea.
“If you want, we can give you an economic zone in Kurigram,” she said.
Hasina made the offer as the Bhutanese king said he wanted to build an administrative economic zone in his country keeping the environment unharmed.
The PM said that Bangladesh has been developing communication with neighbours in every way, includ-ing railways.
“Bangladesh is a connectivity hub. Bhutan can use Bangladesh’s two ports and the Syedpur International Airport as we make those open for this purpose,” she said.
The Bhutanese royals highly praised the economic advancement of Bangladesh under the dynamic lead-ership of Hasina, said Momen.
The king expressed his desire to get his Himalayan nation’s direct transit through Bangladesh and another one through India.
The Bangladesh prime minister welcomed the Bhutanese eagerness, saying, “If necessary, we will talk to India over the matter.”
The Bhutanese monarch said his country’s prime minister and foreign minister have a special attachment with Bangladesh as both of them studied in Bangladesh.
He said both Bhutanese leaders have wanted to visit Bangladesh privately.
Welcoming it, Hasina said, “My door is open for you people.”
They discussed various family matters as the Bhutanese king and the queen consider the prime minister as their maternal aunt, Momen said.
PM’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, State Minister for Foreign Af-fairs Md Shahriar Alam, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, PM’s Speechwriter M Nazrul Islam and Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem were present at the meeting.