ঢাকায় বাংলাদেশের...
প্রথম পাতা ›  বিবৃতি ও বক্তৃতা  ›  ঢাকায় বাংলাদেশের...

High Commission of India

Dhaka

 

Remarks by High Commissioner of India, Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the Annual General Meeting-2016 of the International Business Forum of Bangladesh, Dhaka, May 24, 2017

  • Mohammed Farashuddin, Former Governor, Bangladesh Bank
  • Abdul Matlub Ahmad, Former President, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry
  • Hafizur Rahman Khan, President, International Business Forum of Bangladesh
  • Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, Founding President, International Business Forum of Bangladesh

 

  • I am delighted to be here at the Annual General Meeting of the International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) – a 12 year old business forum engaged in policy advocacy and business research.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Visit to India

  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent visit to India has added a new chapter to the deepening bilateral relationship between India and Bangladesh. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi described, a Sonali Adhyaya has been heralded in our relationship.
  • The Joint Statement adopted by the two Prime Ministers affirmed that the 'relations between India and Bangladesh are based on fraternal ties and reflective of an all-encompassing partnership based on sovereignty, equality, trust and understanding that goes far beyond a strategic partnership'.
  • Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka in June 2015, new vistas of co-operation have opened between India and Bangladesh and significant progress has been made on the implementation of the decisions taken in 2015. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit was also an opportunity to follow-up on these.
  • We also signed 36 MoUs/Agreements – the highest number of agreements India has signed with any other country in a single visit. Together with the 22 Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we can say that almost 60 documents have been signed in a span of 2 years, which is no small achievement. It demonstrates the breadth and depth of our bilateral relationship and the vast potential which still exists in co-operation which can transform our societies and bring development to people in our countries. 

 

Trade and Investment

  • Our bilateral trade has registered a substantial increase over the last few years. Since 2001-02, Bangladesh’s exports to India grew ten times and India’s exports (and the total trade) grew nearly six fold. Total India-Bangladesh trade stood at USD 6.14 billion in 2015-16.
  • India had granted duty free quota free access to Bangladesh in 2011.This has resulted in rapid growth of Bangladesh’s exports to India in the last few years. Bangladesh’s exports to India grew by 30.82% in 2015-16 and by 15.45% in 2014-15. We are also cooperating to accept certification from Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) to facilitate easier access for Bangladesh goods. 
  • Communities dwelling in our bordering areas have benefitted from trade conducted in the Border Haats. More Border Haats will be set up under the MoU signed during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit.
  • Total Indian investments across sectors including pharmaceuticals, automobiles, FMCG, telecommunications and cement registered with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority exceed USD 3 billion. During Prime Minister’s visit 13 agreements worth USD 10 billion, mainly for Indian investments in Bangladesh in power & energy, logistics, education and medical sectors were also signed. Indian Economic Zones in the pipeline at Mongla, Bheramara and Mirsarai are expected to further facilitate Indian investments in Bangladesh.

 

Border Infrastructure for Trade

  • We are also improving the trade and immigration infrastructure at our borders to facilitate easier flow of goods and people. India has upgraded the Land Customs Station (LCS) at the Petrapole-Benapole land border to an Integrated Check Post (ICP). Work has also commenced to upgrade the Dawki LCS (Tamabil on the Bangladesh side) into an ICP.
  • The inauguration of the Phulbari-Banglabandha Immigration post last year has opened up new opportunities in Bangladesh’s connectivity with North-eastern India.

 

Connectivity

  • Improving connectivity between the two countries through facilitating road, rail, waterways and airways transportation has also been an important focus of our relationship.
  • The 4th railway link (of the erstwhile six railway linkages) between Radhikapur and Birol was inaugurated by the two Prime Ministers in April 2017. By 2018, work on 3 more railway links will be completed.
  • The Maitree Express which connects Dhaka and Kolkata has become a fully air-conditioned passenger service, and its frequency has increased to 4 times a week. From August this year, it will become an end-to-end-service significantly reducing the journey time between the two cities. A new Maitree express connecting Khulna and Kolkata is also in the pipeline with the trial run for the same having been concluded.
  • To facilitate passenger movement, a new bus service between Khulna and Kolkata has been launched in addition to the existing links between Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati. 
  • The potential of inland waterways for movement of goods and people is relatively untapped. However, the commencement of trans-shipment of goods through Ashuganj under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit & Trade and opening of container services between Kolkata and Pangaon under the Coastal Shipping Agreements are important developments. The MoUs on Passenger and Cruise Vessel Movement and on cooperation on aids to navigation will also help boost riverine traffic. 

 

Cooperation in Power and Energy Sectors

  • Our cooperation in power and energy sector has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. India is committed to supporting Bangladesh in its vision of ‘Power to All’ by 2021. At present, 660 MW of power is already flowing from India to Bangladesh and we hope to add 500 MW to this. In fact, we are looking at a supply of close to 5000 MW (existing 660 MW; 500 MW in pipeline; Reliance and Adani 2350 MW; Rampal power plant 1320 MW) of power to Bangladesh through various kinds of co-operation both in the public and private sector. This includes two major private sector investments worth a total of US$3.2 billion by Adani Power Ltd. and Reliance Power Ltd. which will bring an additional 2350 MW of power to Bangladesh.
  • We are also looking at supply of LNG to demand centers in Jessore-Khulna region; gas grid interconnectivity between India and Jhenaidah-Khulna pipeline in Bangladesh; setting up an LPG import terminal by IOCL at Kutubdia; and building LPG pipeline. We are also looking at a friendship pipeline between India and Bangladesh to supply gasoil from Siliguri to Parbatipur which will be constructed from Indian grant-in-aid.
  • Options in terms of clean and renewable energy are also being explored. We are happy to share our experience in nuclear energy with Bangladesh especially as the first nuclear power plant is being constructed at Rooppur and 3 agreements have been concluded in civilian nuclear energy. We have also initiated discussions for joint investment in hydro-electricity and tripartite co-operation with Bhutan. 

 

Liberalized Visa Regime

  • A liberalized visa policy and a number of measures to ease access to Indian visa for Bangladesh nationals have boosted the movement of Bangladesh nationals to India who now constitute the largest number of foreign tourists to India (1.6 million arrivals in 2016). We have also liberalized the Business Visa regime for Bangladesh businessmen and are now issuing 5 years multiple-entry Business Visas to all genuine business travelers to India.

 

Development Partnership

  • India is a committed development partner of Bangladesh, and we have pledged USD 8 billion in concessional financing to Bangladesh. During the visit, USD 5 billion dollars was pledged in concessional financing in addition to the earlier USD 3 billion in the first and second lines of credit. This is the largest amount of credit India has committed to any single country which demonstrates that we value our relationship with Bangladesh and accord it the highest priority. The projects covered under the new line of credit will help improve infrastructure in Bangladesh in sectors like ports, power, railways, roads and airports.
  • We are also looking to share expertise and experience of our flagship projects such as Smart Cities; Make with India; Namami Gange (National Mission for Clean Ganga) Programme. We have signed an MoU in energy efficiency, and a plan to install 10,000 highly efficient LED bulbs in Dhaka, Rajshahi and Chittagong is in the pipeline. We will also be jointly undertaking the Buriganga River Restoration Project under the new line of credit. We have a Smart Cities project in India and are looking to co-operate in urban development projects in Rajshahi, Khulna and Sylhet; and we are going to construct 36 community clinics in Bangladesh. We are looking at partnership not just in infrastructure development but also social and economic development projects which bring tangible benefits to people and we are happy to share our experiences in India in this regard. 
  • We have also offered capacity building to Bangladesh in different areas including training of over 1500 administrative officers and 1500 judicial officers. Agreements for co-operation have also been signed between our various institutions in the areas of skill development, medical sciences and veterinary sciences. MoUs have been signed between our Viswa Bharati University and Northern University of Business and Technology in Khulna; between Tata Medical Center and Directorate General of Medical Service, Bangladesh Armed Forces. The Premier Institutions of India including the IITs and IIMs have opened their doors to students from Bangladesh. 

 

New Areas of Cooperation

  • During Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit, we have also institutionalized bilateral cooperation in areas of high-technology such as IT, space, civilian nuclear energy, cyber security and earth sciences. Earlier this month, we launched the South Asia satellite which will offer multi-dimensional facilities including services in telecommunications and tele-medicine and better co-ordination in disaster management to participating nations including Bangladesh. 
 
 
 


ঠিকানা: ভারতীয় হাই কমিশন
প্লট নং. ১-৩, পার্ক রোড, বারিধারা, ঢাকা-১২১২
কর্ম ঘন্টা: সকাল ৯টা থেকে বিকাল ৫:৩০ মিনিট পর্যন্ত
(রবিবার থেকে বৃহস্পতিবার পর্যন্ত)
টেলিফোন নম্বরসমূহ: +৮৮০-২-৫৫০৬৭৩৬৪
ইপিএবিএক্স: +৮৮০-২-৫৫০৬৭৩০১-৩০৮ এবং +৮৮০-২-৫৫০৬৭৬৪৫-৬৪৯
ফ্যাক্স নম্বর: +৮৮০-২-৫৫০৬৭৩৬১