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Bangladesh–Bhutan relations


Bangladesh–Bhutan relations

Bangladesh–Bhutan relations



Bangladesh and Bhutan are regional neighbours. The Kingdom of Bhutan was the first country to recognize Bangladesh's independence.[1] Relations are strong and long-standing. In recent years, the two countries have committed to a strategic development partnership, encompassing hydropower, free trade and transport. They are common members of SAARC and BIMSTEC.


  • History 1
  • Trade 2
  • Energy 3
  • Transport 4
  • Other agreements 5
  • References 6


As the Bangladesh Liberation War approached the defeat of Pakistani forces, the King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, sent a telegram to the head of the Provisional Government of Bangladesh, Acting President Syed Nazrul Islam, on 6 December 1971; in which he announced the Bhutanese recognition of Bangladeshi sovereignty and independence. Thus, Bhutan became the first state in the world to recognize the new country. It was later followed that day by India. Below is a text of the telegram.[2]


Bhutan and Bangladesh signed a bilateral trade agreement in 1980, granting each other the "most favoured nation" preferential status for development of trade.[3] As of FY 2009-2010 Bangladesh's total imports Bhutan stood at USD 25 million, while its exports to Bhutan accounted for USD 3 million.[4] The agreement was renewed during the official visit of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed to Thimphu in 2009. In 2014, during the visit of Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay to Dhaka, Bangladesh granted duty-free access to 90 products from Bhutan.


The two countries have begun negotiations in jointly developing hydropower in the Himalayas. Bhutan has potential to generate over 50,000 MW of hydroelectricity from its rivers and glaciers.


Landlocked Bhutan is keen to use the Bangladeshi Port of Chittagong and Port of Mongla, as well as Saidpur Airport, for transshipment of cargo. A sub-regional transit network connecting India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh has been proposed.

Other agreements

Bhutan and Bangladesh have actively cooperated in the field of flood control in the aftermath of severe floods in Bangladesh in 1988. Bangladesh also extended support to Bhutan following the 2009 earthquake. Bangladesh offers one scholarship to the Royal Bhutanese Army for a course at the Bangladesh Defence Services Command and Staff College. Both nations signed an air services agreement in 1986, allowing for seven weekly flights between the two nations. Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is a focus city for Druk Air.


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  4. ^ "Entrepreneurship lacks keeps untapped Bangladesh-Bhutan trade prospects". Ittefaq - The Nation. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010. 
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