Government Policy

3 instruments likely to be inked during PM’s Italy visit

DHAKA Foreign minister Dr A K Abdul Momen today said three bilateral instruments between Bangladesh and Italy are likely to be signed during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to Rome starting on February 4.

There are three draft agreements in their hand (Italy) if they can finalize by this time those (agreements) will be signed during the visit, he told newsmen at a press briefing on the premier's visit at the foreign ministry here today.

The proposed agreements are on cultural exchange, political consultations and cooperation in the diplomatic field, he added.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to leave here for Rome on February 4 on a four-day bilateral official visit to Italy at the invitation of her Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte.

During the visit, the foreign minister said the prime minister will hold a bilateral meeting with her Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte on February 5.

Mentioning that a joint statement will be issued after the bilateral meeting, Momen said If it's not possible to sign the proposed agreements during the visit, those will be reflected in the joint statement and the instruments will be signed afterwards.

Replying a query, he said Bangladesh and Italy are discussing on bilateral defence cooperation but there is no possibility of any agreement between the two countries in this regard.

During the bilateral meeting on February 5, the foreign minister said the premier Sheikh Hasina is likely to seek more Italian investment in potential sectors of Bangladesh.

Besides, the two leaders are expected to discuss the whole range of bilateral issues as well as important regional and international matters of common concern, he said.

On the same day, top officials of some Italian business giant companies will call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the meeting room of her place of residence.

Noting that it's the median bilateral visit of the Bangladesh premier after taking over the state power for the third consecutive term, Momen hoped that the tour will be beneficiary for Bangladesh economy and its ongoing development.

The foreign ministry is considering the visit as highly important as it involves the search for fresh investments by Italian entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, export of more items to Italy as well as seeking areas to export skilled manpower, he said.

Italy so far accommodated many of our nationals and more are waiting for getting residence right there so definitely the issue (manpower export) will be discussed (during the visit), Momen said.

Italy is one of the largest trading partners of Bangladesh and more than 200,000 Bangladeshis live there.

A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the premier and her entourage members will take off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) for Italian capital of Rome in the morning on February 4.

The flight is scheduled to land at Fiumicino Airport, Rome at 4:15 pm local time where Bangladesh Ambassador to Italy Abdus Sobhan Sikder will receive the premier.

After the reception at the airport, a ceremonial motorcade will escort the Bangladesh prime minister to Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa, where she will be staying during her visit to the Italian capital.

Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to join a community event at Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa in the evening the same day.

Before holding bilateral meeting with her Italian counterpart in the afternoon, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the Chancery Building of Bangladesh Embassy in Rome in Via Dell'Antartide area in the morning.

On February 6, Sheikh Hasina will have an audience with Pope Francis in the morning.

Then the prime minister will depart Rome for the Italian city of Milan by train at 12:50 pm and reach there at 4 pm local time.

She will stay at Excelsior Hotel Gallia during the visit to Milan, officials said.

On February 7, the prime minister will leave Milan Malpensa International Airport for home by an Emirates flight at 1:40 pm local time.

She will reach Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka at 8:10 am Bangladesh time on February 8 via Dubai.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)