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WORLD NEWS | Bangladesh features prominently in India’s Neighborhood First policy


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New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): India has civilized, cultural, social and economic ties with Bangladesh, which features prominently in India’s Neighborhood Priority policy. India, which holds the G20 presidency this year, follows its practice of inviting non-member states and international organizations to the summit, with Bangladesh the only South Asian nation to have a spot on India’s guest list.

India’s selection of Bangladesh as the only South Asian invitee shows its respect for its eastern neighbor and the neighbor’s best friend. Other countries invited to the G20 meeting are Egypt, Mauritius, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Spain, Singapore, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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The direction of India-Bangladesh relations shows that the two countries have secured mutual benefits due to the close relationship between the Awami League led by Sheikh Hasina and the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Modi has invited Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as India’s special guest to attend the G20 summit to be held on September 9-10. The two leaders will meet during the G20 summit.

The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has special significance as the two countries will hold general elections in 2024. Several high-level meetings will be held in New Delhi and Dhaka in preparation for Sheikh Hasina’s general election. access. Last September, India and Bangladesh officially celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations. Sheikh Hasina visited India for four days at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi to mark the occasion. This is also her first visit to India since the COVID outbreak in 2020. She participated in talks with Prime Minister Modi, which was followed by delegation level talks on 6 September 2022.

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The two leaders were satisfied with the good mutual relations between the two countries, and the meeting was full of enthusiasm and cordiality. The relationship between India and Bangladesh is based on deep history and brotherhood and guaranteed by a shared commitment to democracy and pluralism. The bilateral partnership between the two countries based on sovereignty, equality, trust and understanding actually goes beyond a strategic partnership.

India and Bangladesh share a common border of 4096.7 km, which is the longest land border India shares with any neighboring country. India was the first country to recognize Bangladesh as an independent country.

The two countries established diplomatic relations immediately after Bangladesh became independent in December 1971. The two countries share a common history and heritage, language and cultural ties, and a love of music, literature and the arts, with a fusion flavor.

By the way, the national anthems of Bangladesh and India were composed by the same author Rabindranath Tagore. Due to various factors including trade, Bangladesh has become India’s most valuable close neighbor. Bangladesh has become India’s sixth largest trading partner and the largest trading partner in South Asia. India is Bangladesh’s largest export market and second largest trading partner in Asia.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade increased by 14% between 2019 and 2021, from $9.46 billion to $10.78 billion. Bangladesh accounted for the largest percentage of foreign tourists to India in 2020. Tens of thousands of Bangladeshis come to India for medical treatment.

The two countries have been preparing for the signing of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement, which will significantly strengthen the trade and commercial partnership between the two countries. Bangladesh’s future will be even more important to India, especially since it has one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Due to its location between the Indian state of West Bengal and the landlocked states of Northeastern India, Bangladesh is ideally suited to provide Northeastern India with easy access to the rest of the country as well as to the sea, thereby boosting the economy and commerce.

The two countries have launched several initiatives over the past few years to improve connectivity between Bangladesh and Northeast India over the past few years and realize this potential. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Hasina has repeatedly called on India to use the ports of Chittagong and Mongla, which will facilitate and benefit the northeastern states of Assam and Tripura.

The shared inland waterway network has also added several new shipping ports. The Maitri Setu (bridge) linking Sarboom in the Indian state of Tripura to Ramgarh in Bangladesh will be completed in 2021. Inaugurated in June 2022, Swapner Padma Setu is expected to directly connect India and Dhaka via rail, road and port.The Padma Bridge has also become the main connection point of the Trans-Asian Highway Network (TAHN), effectively shortening the distance between the two places

Benepole is 70 km or 4.5 hours by road from Dhaka at the Indian border. The bridge now connects the entire region, linking Kolkata on the Indian side and Chittagong on the Bangladeshi side to three hub ports in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia respectively, and economic activity across the region is expected to multiply.

The Jaipaiguri-Dhaka fortnightly Mitali Express service will cease in 2022. The Akhaura-Agartala railway line may be ready by June 2023. Bangladesh has also brought more stability to India’s insurgency-prone northeast. The neighbor has recently emerged as a reliable partner for India on security issues, especially with India’s “zero tolerance” approach to terrorism.

Bangladesh has repeatedly arrested rebels from various militant groups in the northeast and sent them to India. China’s rise and strong presence in the Bay of Bengal has prompted India to strengthen its relationship with the Gulf Coast to ensure its dominance in the Gulf region, as India sees the Bay of Bengal as a major area of ​​interest.

India has been trying to forge stronger ties with its eastern neighbor to realize its Indo-Pacific ambitions, especially as its western front remains volatile. Bangladesh, which lies north of the Bay of Bengal and is India’s immediate neighbor to the east, is crucial in both of India’s initiatives.

“Green Development, Climate Finance and Living” is one of the priority areas of the G20 under the Indian presidency. The heads of government of India and Bangladesh have recently stepped up attention to climate change as a matter of mutual concern.

In a joint statement issued after Prime Minister Hasina’s visit to India last September, the two countries agreed to cooperate on the challenge of climate change. The collaboration has a particular focus on the Sandbans region to combat climate-induced sea level rise.

Energy transition is another important issue in India’s G20 mandate. India-Bangladesh cooperation in the energy sector has grown steadily over the past few years with various projects such as the Friendship Pipeline.

In 2020, the two countries signed a framework of understanding for cooperation in the field of hydrocarbons and agreed to strengthen cooperation in energy efficiency and clean energy, including biofuels. In a joint statement in 2022, India and Bangladesh agreed to emphasize the urgency of green energy.

India has been seeking to promote a reformed multilateralism, which means a responsible, inclusive, just, equitable and representative multipolar international system capable of addressing contemporary challenges.

Bangladesh is also a member of many multilateral platforms of India’s neighbors such as SAARC, BIMSTEC and IORA. Bangladesh’s support is absolutely indispensable if India’s G20 aspirations are to be effectively expressed in regional multilateral platforms.

As India seeks to shape the global agenda through its G20 presidency, it needs Bangladesh’s support to translate many of these ideas into action in the neighbourhood. Some of these areas of cooperation may further enrich the “golden chapter” of India-Bangladesh relations. (Arnie)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the body of content may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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