Published:  04:06 AM, 10 October 2019

Hasina, Modi want to leave legacies on bilateral ties

Hasina, Modi want to leave legacies on bilateral ties Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Hyderabad house in New Delhi during the former's recent visit to India. -AA File photo

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi decided to leave their legacies on the relation of the two next-door neighbors, during the former's visit to New Delhi.

The visit of Sheikh Hasina underlined the fact that India attaches top priority to its ties with Bangladesh and recognizes that today Bangladesh is its largest trading partner in  South Asia. According to official documents, the total Indo-Bangla trade crossed US$ 10 billion with a 52 percent increase in Bangladeshi exports, which has crossed $1 billion. Bangladesh is the largest development partner of India that has offered US$ 8 billion of concessional lines of credit.

Bangladesh is also the largest sender of visitors to India, which issued almost 1.5 million visas for Bangladeshi visitors last year. The joint communiqué issued after the formal talks between the two leaders speaks of 'advancing mutually beneficial partnership in both conventional and non-conventional areas'.

They expressed their conviction for eliminating terrorism in all its forms. When they met in Delhi, they once again reiterated their commitment to coordinate closely against terrorism, radical groups, smugglers and fake currency peddlers, and continue their fight against organized crime.

The main decisions the two countries reached during the visit include bringing down border killings to zero level; withdrawal of restrictions on Bangladeshi travelers using existing land ports; and working on draft framework of interim sharing agreements for the six rivers -- Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar.

The decisions also include making more Indian investment in Bangladesh and India's buying more products from Bangladesh;  Bangladesh's opening of a new Deputy High Commission in Chennai; expedition of 12 border haats; considering mutual recognition of certifications of BAB and NABL; moving towards a bilateral India-Bangladesh motor vehicles agreement; and cooperation to commemorate the upcoming anniversaries of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2020, 50 years of Bangladesh's War of Liberation and the establishment of India-Bangladesh bilateral diplomatic ties in 2021.

The two sides agreed that the export of LPG from Bangladesh to Tripura is a game changer. Bangladesh will import LPG and transport it to Tripura where it will be bottled and distributed. It has the potential to generate jobs and revenue for Bangladesh.

Indian Prime Minister Modi reaffirmed India's full support to his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina for realization of her vision of ensuring a prosperous, peaceful and developed Bangladesh.

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