Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves Dhaka for London today en route to Sweden on a three-day bilateral tour to the Scandinavian country at the invitation of her Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven, reports UNB.
This will be the first-ever bilateral visit by any head of state or government of Bangladesh to Sweden, which is expected to expand cooperation between the two countries on a number of bilateral and regional issues.
“During the tour, the Prime Minister will have official talks with her Swedish Counterpart Stefan Lofven,” PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told UNB on Monday.
A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage will depart Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 12:00 noon.
The flight is expected to land at Heathrow International Airport at 6:00 pm (local time) where she will be received by Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Md Nazmul Quaunine.
After a one-day stopover at London, Sheikh Hasina will leave London for Stockholm on Wednesday afternoon by a Scandinavian Airlines flight at 6:15 pm (local time) and is expected to land at Stockholm Arlanda Airport at 9:40 pm (local time).
Bangladesh Ambassador to Sweden Md Golam Sarwar will receive the Prime Minister at the airport from where she will be escorted to Grand Hotel in a ceremonial motorcade where she would be staying during her the tour.
On Thursday, Hasina will spend a busy day as she will have a bilateral meeting with Stefan Lofven to discuss ways to promote trade and investment between the countries with a greater focus on shipbuilding and garment sector. Before that, they will have a tete-a-tete.
Hasina will also have an audience with the king of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf at Royal Castle.
Earlier in the day, she is expected to pay a visit to Swedish parliament and meet Acting Speaker of Parliament Tobias Billstrom. Hasina is also likely to have meetings with Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden Isabella Lovin and Minister for Justice and Migration Morgan Johansson.
On Friday, CEO of H&M Karl-Johan Persson, President of Investor Jacob Wallenberg and Vice President of Investor Marcus Wallenberg and CEO of ABB Sweden Johan Soderstrom are likely to meet Hasina.
She will also attend Bangladesh-Sweden Business and Investment Forum during the visit. A memorandum of understanding between Sweden-Bangladesh Business Council, Stockholm and Nordic Chamber of Commerce and Industries is likely to be signed to strengthen cooperation in the areas of trade and investment.
Wrapping up her tour, Hasina will depart Stockholm for London on Friday at 1:30 pm (local time).
After making a short stopover, she will board a VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines in Heathrow for Dhaka at 6:20 pm (local time) and is expected to arrive in Dhaka at 11:05 am on Saturday (BST).
On Sunday, Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali said the PM’s Sweden visit will help expand cooperation between the two countries on a number of bilateral and regional issues, including climate change, SDGs implementation and combatting terrorism.
Besides, A high-profile 47-member business delegation will accompany the prime minister during the visit, said the foreign minister.
The current two-way trade volume between the two countries is US$ 556.93 million only. Though this is going to be the first bilateral visit between the two countries at government or state head level, Hasina visited Sweden in 2009 to attend the European Development Days, a forum organised each year by the European Commission to bring the development community together to share ideas and experiences.