The defence deal signed between India and Bangladesh would be guided by Bangladesh’s needs and priorities, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday as he announced the USD 500 million credit line for defence related procurements of Bangladesh.
Citing the signing of the defence cooperation between the two countries as a long overdue step Modi called for closer rapport between the armed forces of India and Bangladesh,
Some twenty two agreements and MOUs have been signed for cooperation in different sectors for which an overall USD 4.5 billion credit line has been announced.
Meanwhile a six point agenda has been brought forth to boost trade and investment between the two countries alongside the setting up of a Joint Task Force on Tariff and Non Tariff barriers as well as a separate Task Force to promote Indian investments in Bangladesh. The specific areas of focus include infrastructure, education, healthcare, power and tourism.
Links through road, rail, rivers, sea transmission lines, petroleum pipelines and digital connectivity will be part of a special expansion plan for sub regional cooperation between Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal (BBIN) countries.
Also, part of the envisaged cooperation is the joint investment and cooperation in the Bay of Bengal in areas of hydrocarbons, marine resources, deep sea fishing, preservation of marine ecology and disaster management that includes research, innovation and partnerships for skill development.
The leading industry body of India, the FICCI said that meetings had been held with the high-powered business delegation that accompanied the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, in the backdrop of the seminar organised by FICCI ‘Doing Business with Bangladesh.’
The Hindu newspaper quoted the leader of the Bangladeshi delegation Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President of FBCCI as saying that Bangladesh was on a sound economic footing with a forex reserve of USD 32 billion, adding that the government has decided to retain USD 25 billion while releasing the rest for investments overseas, with India emerging as a favoured destination.