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Sheikh Hasina likely to attend BRICS summit next month

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addresses a high-level

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to participate in an outreach session at the 8th BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Summit next month in Goa, a top Bangladesh official said on Monday.

“My understanding so far is she would (participate in the outreach session of the 8th BRICS summit),” Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Advisor Mashiur Rahman told reporters here.

However, he added that this is subject to urgent situations at the last minute. Over 8,000 BRICS delegates are expected to take part in the event to be held on October 15-16. India is hosting the summit in its capacity as chair of the influential bloc.

BRICS countries account for 42 per cent of the world population and have a combined GDP of over USD 16 trillion. Both Bangladesh and India are members of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), along with, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Asked if Hasina will travel to Pakistan to attend the SAARC Summit in November, Rahman said it is up to the country’s foreign ministry to decide. “SAARC does not have focus on short to medium term economic activities,” he said.

The South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional inter-governmental organisation. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Rahman, however, felt that there could be no economic fallout of last month’s terrorist attack at a posh cafe in Dhaka that killed 22 people, including an Indian girl. “I don’t think it would have any economic impact,” he said.

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