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Bangladesh, China sign cultural exchange program
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Bangladesh and Chinese governments on Thursday signed an executive program for cultural exchanges between the two countries for the years of 2009 to 2012.

This is an implementation program of the Agreement of Cooperation on Culture between Bangladesh and China, which was signed in November 1979.

Secretary of the Bangladesh Culture Ministry MD. Sharful Alam and Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Zheng Qingdian signed the agreement in Dhaka on behalf of their governments respectively.

According to the executive program, the two countries will exchange visits of performing art groups and delegations of cultural officials, artists. The two sides will also encourage exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, press and publication, education and sports.

Besides, the Chinese government will offer scholarships for 50 Bangladesh undergraduate and postgraduate students annually, compared with 40 in previous executive program.

"We are keen to see the exchanges in the days to come... I strongly believe the agreement will strengthen the bilateral relations," cultural secretary MD. Sharful Alam said at the signing ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, cabinet-level Cultural Adviser of the Bangladesh caretaker government Rasheda K Chowdhury said, "We renewed our commitment" to promote the cultural exchanges, which will beneficial to the people of the two countries as they will know each other much more.

"China and Bangladesh have a long history of cultural exchanges... Under the new executive program, there will be more culture communications between us and more art styles will be mutually introduced," Chinese Ambassador Zheng Qingdian said.

An implementation program of the cultural agreement between Bangladesh and China is signed every three years. In the last decades of years, bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture have been continuously strengthened.

(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2008)

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