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Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will set off this afternoon around 2 pm for an official three-day visit to Burma, report official sources.

Sources said that a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying Sheikh Hasina and members of her entourage will take off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 2 pm today, 5 December.

Burmese Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin will receive the Bangladesh premier at the airport of the new capital Naypyidaw. The prime minister is expected to reach Naypyidaw Airport at 4:05 pm local time, sources said.

According to the source, the Bangladesh PM will attend a welcoming ceremony and will be given a guard of honor at Naypyidaw on 6 December. She will later meet Burma's President U Thein Sein and other top officials from several ministries to discuss bilateral issues.

The Bangladesh premier is going to sign MoUs on various issues with Burma, including economic cooperation. During her three-day visit, Bangladesh and Burmese delegations will discuss several business issues, including direct road links and airways, buying electricity and gas from Burma, joint exploration for gas in the Bay of Bengal, shipping links, refugee repatriation, and cultural cooperation.

The visit of the prime minister is expected to boost business between the two countries. The current trade volume between Burma and Bangladesh is very small and only stands at $160 million in bilateral trade per year.

In 2008 - 2009, Bangladesh exports were at $9.17 million and imports from Burma were at $66.65 million. Burma and Bangladesh agreed earlier this year to increase bilateral trade from $160 million to $550 million in the next two years.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the Bangladesh Chancery Building in Naypyidaw and visit the Gems Museum, Pyithu Hluttaw, and the historic Uppatathandi Pagoda and white elephant.

The prime minister will leave Burma for Indonesia on 7 December to attend an international democracy conference to be held in Bali.
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