Pictured is the Port of Chittagong, the largest port in Bangladesh. July 2007. Source: Wikimedia. Photograph: (Others)
At more than $6 billion for the financial year 2015-16, Bangladesh is India’s largest trade partner in South Asia
Indian foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is due in Dhaka tomorrow to convey a letter of invitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to meet her Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.
Jaishankar would meet with Bangladesh foreign secretary Shahidul Haque to finalise the date and firm up the agendas to be discussed during her visit, which is expected in April.
Bangladesh should be expecting an affirmation of commitment towards investments and lines of credit mostly in areas of infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, waterways and energy, Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad, chairman of Bangladesh Institute of International Strategic Studies told WION.
“Around $11 billion of investments from India in the power, LNG (liquefied natural gas) and port sectors in Bangladesh are in the pipeline. India has also been offered sites by Bangladesh for setting up Special Economic Zones exclusively for Indian companies to invest,” said Harsha Vardhan Shringla, the High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh in a statement last week.
At $6.14 billion for financial year 2015-16, Bangladesh is India’s largest trade partner in South Asia.
The water sharing of Teesta, which has a downstream towards Bangladesh restrained during the period of irrigation, will not likely find a resolution even this time due to bureaucracy and strains between India's central and provincial government.
“We are in a way stuck on India’s centre-provincial relations. It’s not easy to get out of that,” said Ahmad.
There will likely be reaffirmation on security cooperation between the two countries that already shares “extremely friendly cooperation on security matters and on issues of reducing threats of extremism, separatism and insurgency,” he said.
Ahmad expressed concerns over the non-traditional security issues across the frontiers between India and Bangladesh that stretch over 4,000 kilometres. The trafficking of contraband, cattle and even human is causing serious implications through killing of unarmed Bangladeshi people by the Indian border security.
“There is a marked reduction in it but it has not stopped completely and therefore we would like to see more progress on this,” Ahmad shared with WION.