President of Turkey due next month
Turkish President Abdullah Gul will come to Bangladesh on February 12 on a two-day official trip with a view to strengthening bilateral relations.
This would be the first visit of a head of state to Bangladesh since the Awami League-led grand alliance assumed power in January last year.
Earlier, President Zillur Rahman paid a 6-day visit to Turkey from November 6 last year to attend Economic Summit of COMCEC (Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation) organised by Organisation of Islamic Conference.
A team from Turkey would arrive in Dhaka prior to the presidential visit to finalise the schedule of programmes in the trip, official sources said.
Bangladesh wants to expand trade with Turkey. The issue of trade will be of paramount importance during the visit of the Turkey president, officials said.
Different aspects of bilateral relations and multilateral issues including cooperation between the two countries in different international forums like OIC and the United Nations will come into discussion, officials at the foreign ministry said.
A high-profile business delegation from Turkey will accompany President Abdullah Gul.
On February 13, a joint meeting of businessmen from both the countries will be held in presence of the Turkey president.
According to the tentative schedule, the president upon his arrival in Dhaka will pay tribute to the martyrs of 1971 Liberation War at the National Mausoleum in Savar.
The same day in the afternoon, he will have a discussion with President Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will pay a courtesy call on the president at his hotel suite. Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Commerce Minister Faruq Khan and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni will also meet the president.
Export of different commodities like readymade garments, jute materials, leather, and frozen foods from Bangladesh to Turkey is increasing.
According to the statistics of Export Promotion Bureau, Bangladesh earned $33 crore by exporting goods to Turkey in 2008-09 fiscal year while the amount was $23 crore in the previous fiscal year.
In the last political visit from Turkey, former Turkey president Suleyman Demirel along with Palestine President Yasser Arafat and President of South Africa Nelson Mandela attended a public rally in Dhaka in the celebration of 25th anniversary of Bangladesh's independence on March 26, 1997.