Bangladesh is India's largest development partner: PM Modi

Published By : Admin | June 22, 2024 | 13:00 IST

Your Excellency, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,
Delegates from both countries,
Friends from the media,
Namaskar,

I extend a hearty welcome to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her delegation. Though we have met almost ten times in the last one year, today's meeting is special because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is our first state guest in the third term of our government.

Friends,

Bangladesh is situated at the convergence of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy, Act East Policy, Vision SAGAR and Indo-Pacific Vision.

In last one year, we have completed many important public welfare projects together. Between Akhaura-Agartala, the 6th India-Bangladesh cross-border rail link has been started. Cargo facility for India's North-Eastern states has been started through Khulna-Mongla Port. Mongla Port has been connected by rail for the first time. Both units of the1320 MW Maitree Thermal Power Plant have started generating electricity. Trade in Indian Rupee (INR) has started between the two countries. World's longest river cruise on the River Ganga between India and Bangladesh has been successfully completed. The first cross-border friendship pipeline between India and Bangladesh has been completed. Electricity export from Nepal to Bangladesh via the Indian grid has become the first example of sub-regional cooperation in the energy sector. The implementation of such big initiatives, in multiple areas, within just one year reflects the speed and scale of our relations.

Friends,

Today we have prepared a futuristic vision for cooperation in new areas. Youth of both countries will benefit from the agreement reached on cooperation in a lot of areas such as Green Partnership, Digital Partnership, Blue Economy, Space. India Bangladesh "Maitri Satellite” will give new heights to our partnership. We have kept in our focus- Connectivity, Commerce and Collaboration.

In the last ten years, we have restored the connectivity that existed before 1965. Now we will focus more on digital and energy connectivity. This will boost the economies of both countries. To take our economic relations to new heights, both sides have agreed to start negotiations on CEPA. India will support construction of an Inland Container Depot in Sirajganj, Bangladesh.

Friends,

54 rivers connect India and Bangladesh. We have been cooperating on flood management, early warning, drinking water projects.We have decided to start technical level discussions for renewal of the 1996 Ganga Water Treaty. A technical team will soon visit Bangladesh to discuss conservation and management of the Teesta river in Bangladesh.

Friends,

We had comprehensive discussions on further strengthening our defence cooperation, from defence production to modernisation of armed forces. We have decided to strengthen our cooperation on counter-terrorism, countering radicalism and peaceful management of the border.

On Indian Ocean region, we have a common perspective. We welcome Bangladesh's decision to join the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative. We will continue our cooperation in other regional and international forums, including BIMSTEC.

Friends,

The shared culture and vibrant people-to-people exchanges are the foundation of our relationship. We have decided to further enhance scholarships, training and capacity building. India will launch e-medical visa facility for people coming from Bangladesh to India for medical treatment. We have decided to open a new Assistant High Commission in Rangpur to facilitate the people of the North-Western region of Bangladesh.

I wish best of luck to both the teams for today's Cricket World Cup match.

Friends,

Bangladesh is India's biggest development partner, and we give utmost priority to our relations with Bangladesh. I reiterate India's commitment to realising Bangabandhu's vision of stable, prosperous and progressive Bangladesh.Bangladesh will be a developing country in 2026. I laud Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ji for leading "Sonar Bangla". I am confident that together we will realise the vision of 'Viksit Bharat 2047' and 'Smart Bangladesh 2041'.

Thank you very much.

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