UK's foreign office minister for South Asia visited Dhaka; PM Sheikh Hasina left for Doha; Qatar proposes to invest its currency worth of $1.8 billion in the Bangladesh Bank; Third Indo-Bangla Trade Fair 2012 begins; Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister invit
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  • (MAY 28-JUNE 3)

    According to reports, Alistair Burt, UK's foreign office minister for South Asia arrived in Dhaka for three days on May 28, 2012 on his first official visit to Bangladesh. The aim of his visit is to reinforce the strong bilateral relationship and interests shared by the two countries, including supporting democracy, strong people-to-people links, development, trade and investment and climate change. 1

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left for Doha on May 28, 2012 for a two-day official visit to Qatar to attend the three-day 9th US-Islamic World forum. 2 Prime Minister Hasina and her Qatari counterpart met on the sidelines of the US-Islamic World Forum held at Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha and discussed a number of bilateral issues, including financing for Padma bridge project and construction of a new international airport in Bangladesh. Hasina and Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani also discussed upgrading the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and constructing a 1,000-megawatt power plant in the country. 3
    Reports noted that Qatar has proposed to invest its currency worth of $1.8 billion in the Bangladesh Bank. 4

    According to reports, the third Indo-Bangla Trade Fair 2012 began at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on May 31, 2012 . India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) organised the event that is supported by the Indian high commission in Bangladesh and sponsored by the State Bank of India to strengthen the business relations between the two countries. 5
    Reports noted that Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki invited Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to invest in hydropower generation and tourism sectors in the prospective areas of northeast India. Chief Minister Tuki extended this invitation at the inaugural session of the Indo-Bangla Trade Fair in Dhaka. Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith, who was the chief guest at the function, however, did not give any clear indication when his government would allow Bangladeshi investment abroad. 6

    In other developments, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni went to Singapore to attend the 11th IISS Asia Security Summit known as the Shangri-La Dialogue. On the sideline of the dialogue, she held bilateral talk with Singapore Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen. Expressing satisfaction over the current state of defence cooperation, both the ministers stressed the increased exchange of experts in different fields for the benefit of the two countries. The two ministers called for increasing cooperation in the field of security and counter-terrorism and emphasised on the incremental engagement to catch the untapped potentials. They also discussed wider security issues regarding situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as democratic reforms taking place in Myanmar, according to a release of the foreign ministry. 7