Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrived in Dhaka on Friday on a two-day official visit which, Bangladesh thinks, would usher in a new horizon in cooperation between the two friendly countries.
Shinawatra, Thailand’s first female prime minister and the youngest one in over 60 years, reached the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in a special flight of Thai Airways at 5:30pm.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received Shinawatra at the airport. A static guard of honour was given to the Thai premier on the VIP tarmac of the airport.
A tiny tot presented a bouquet to the Thai prime minister as a red carpet was rolled out to receive her.
Later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina introduced her Thai counterpart with her cabinet colleagues — Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Finance Minister AMA Muhith, LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Faruk Khan, Commerce Minister GM Quader and Ambassador at-Large Ziauddin Ahmed.
Later, the Thai premier drove straight to Sonargaon Hotel in a motorcade where she will be staying during her two-day visit.
Shinawatra is being accompanied by a 98-member delegation, including Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and PM’s Office Ministers Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan and Sansanee Nakpong.
On Saturday morning, Shinawatra will visit National Mausoleum in Savar to show respect to Bangladesh’s war heroes where she will also sign the Visitor’s Book and plant a sapling.
Later, she will visit Bangabandhu Museum at Dhanmondi 32 in the city, place a wreath at Bangabandhu’s portrait and sign the Visitor’s Book.
The Thai premier then will have talks with her Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will later host a lunch in honour of her Thai counterpart at Sonargaon Hotel.
She will also have talks with opposition leader and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni during the short visit before leaving for Bangkok on Saturday afternoon.
Sources at the foreign ministry said two memorandums of understanding are expected to be signed between the two countries on cooperation in agriculture sector and foreign secretary-level regular talks.
During her meetings with Sheikh Hasina, Khaleda Zia and Dipu Moni, Shinawatra is expected to discuss issues of bilateral interests and emphasise strengthening relations between the two countries.
Thailand is expert in food processing sector and their expertise could be useful for Bangladesh, officials said.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) is scheduled to host a dinner in honour of the Thai PM at Radisson Hotel on Friday night.
FBCCI President Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed, FBCCI directors, diplomats, business leaders and government high officials will attend the programme.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni will see the Thai prime minister off at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 4:00pm on Saturday.
Source:The Daily Star