Bhutan offer to supply boulders for Padma bridge

Bhutan is keen to export boulders to Bangladesh for the Padma bridge project. The new Bhutanese ambassador in Dhaka Pema Choden requested Dhaka to allow it duty-free access.

She expressed the interest while meeting Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali at the foreign ministry on Wednesday.

The government is planning to build the biggest-ever infrastructure project with its own funds.

The foreign minister said the National Board of Revenue would “soon” convene an inter-ministerial meeting along with the commerce ministry and other stakeholders to this end.

He also mentioned that the issue had been discussed in the last month’s commerce secretary-level talks held in Thimphu.

That meeting also agreed in principle that Bangladesh would allow duty-free access to Bhutan’s tetra pack fruit juice and Bhutan would allow similar access to Bangladesh’s mango and lichi juices.

The ambassador once again showed her country’s keen interest to buy surplus internet bandwidth from Bangladesh.

She said Bhutan might send a formal proposal in this regard.

The minister recalled Bhutan’s role in Bangladesh’s war of independence. Bhutan was the first country to recognise Bangladesh even before its birth.

He reiterated Bangladesh’s interest to import electricity from Bhutan and appreciated Thimphu’s support to Dhaka’s initiative for sub-regional cooperation.

In this context, he referred to the next round of meetings on water resources management and connectivity and transit scheduled to be held in New Delhi and sought Bhutan’s active support to Bangladesh.