KATHMANDU, May 14: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Narayan Prakash Saud, has pointed out the strategic, economic and ecological significance of the Indian Ocean and its importance as a gateway to international markets for the landlocked countries like Nepal.
He called for addressing the impact of climate change on mountains, oceans and the lives and livelihoods of people both in the coastal and hinterland states while underlining the natural link between mountains and oceans. The minister was addressing the Plenary Session of the 6th Indian Ocean Conference underway in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Saturday.
He urged the countries to work together to ensure real, robust and responsible actions for a healthy Indian Ocean and for a peaceful, prosperous, and resilient future of the region, according to a statement issued by the Nepali Embassy in Dhaka.
Prior to this, the minister visited and inspected the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhaka to pay his tribute to the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was accompanied by other ministers and heads of the delegation.
On the sidelines of the conference, he held separate meetings with Takagi Kei, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mohamed Maliki bin Osman, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Second Minister for Education of Singapore, and Afreen Akhter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the United States.
The conference is co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, the India Foundation, and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Singapore under the theme of 'Peace, Prosperity and Partnership for a Resilient Future'.
Event held on Realizing Energy Cooperation between Nepal and Bangladesh
Meanwhile, the Embassy of Nepal, Dhaka, Bangladesh, organized an event on 'Realizing Energy Cooperation between Nepal and Bangladesh' on Saturday evening in Dhaka. The event was hosted on the occasion of the Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Prakash Saud's visit to Bangladesh. The event was followed by dinner.
The event was organized with a view to promoting dialogue among key stakeholders and fostering collaboration in the energy sector between the two countries, the Embassy of Nepal, Dhaka stated in a press release which was shared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.
Addressing the event, the Foreign Minister underscored Nepal's immense hydropower potential and Bangladesh's growing energy needs and emphasized how energy cooperation could be a 'win-win partnership' between the two countries. He stressed the role of enhanced connectivity in realizing energy trade and urged the private sector to seize the opportunities available in the hydropower sector.
Ambassador Ghanshyam Bhandati highlighted the significance of strengthening energy cooperation for the economic advancement and sustainable development of both countries.
Special guest Salman Fazlur Rahman, MP and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Private Industry and Investment, underscored the opportunities in power sector cooperation, and stated how partnership between Nepal and Bangladesh could meet the latter's increasing energy demands and promote green and sustainable development.
Energy Secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire reiterated Nepal's commitment to enhancing energy linkages with Bangladesh and emphasized the government's willingness to materialize power trade in near future.
Power Secretary of Bangladesh, Md Habibur Rahman, BPAA, expressed the readiness of the government of Bangladesh to explore avenues for joint ventures and knowledge sharing in the field of energy.
Independent Power Producers' Association, Nepal made a presentation on energy collaboration between Nepal and Bangladesh. They expressed their desire to work closely with relevant stakeholders of Bangladesh to facilitate investment in Nepal's hydropower sector.
The programme was attended by about 100 participants including the members of parliament, high-ranking government officials, business leaders, major energy entrepreneurs from both Nepal and Bangladesh, Dhaka-based Nepali professionals, and media persons, among others, the Embassy stated.