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Friday, December 21, 2012
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Thai PM due today

2 deals during brief visit

Dhaka and Bangkok will ink two deals on cooperation in agriculture sector and foreign office consultation during a brief visit of Thai premier to Bangladesh beginning today.

Diplomatic sources said Yingluck Shinawatra will stay in Dhaka for about 24 hours, and her visit is expected to usher in a new prospect in areas of cooperation between two friendly nations.

The Thai premier will lead a 97-member high-powered delegation, which includes six ministers, high officials and a 23-member Thai business team from various industrial sectors.

Foreign ministry officials said they did groundwork for the signing of six memoranda of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in fisheries sector development, manpower export, cultural exchange and visa exemption for official passport holders.

But finally, two MoUs on agricultural cooperation and holding of regular Foreign Office Consultation will be signed, they said.

The government had emphasised signing an agreement on visa exemption for its officials but Thailand wants visa exemption only for the diplomatic passport holders.

Thus, it is unlikely that the visa exemption agreement would be signed, they added.

During Shinawatra's visit, two countries will hold talks on the entire range of bilateral issues.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Thai counterpart will lead their respective delegations at the talks scheduled to be held tomorrow at 10:30am.

Sources said issues related to trade, investment, economic cooperation, connectivity as well as cooperation in culture, education, medical science and military training exchanges will be discussed at the dialogue.

The Thai premier will arrive in Dhaka at 5:30pm after ending her two-day visit in India. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni will call on Shinawatra at Sonargaon Hotel.

The Thai premier will attend a dinner at Radisson Hotel to be hosted in her honour by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).

Shinawatra will visit the National Memorial at Savar tomorrow to pay homage to the martyrs of Liberation War.

Later, she will visit Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the capital to place wreaths there.

The Thai premier will then go to the Prime Minister's Office to hold one-on-one meet with Sheikh Hasina and join the delegation-level talks.

She will attend a cultural programme at Sonargaon Hotel at 1:00 pm. The programme will be followed by an official luncheon to be hosted in her honour by the Bangladesh premier.

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