Bangladesh has tabled new regional connectivity proposals to India at the fourth Joint Consultative Commission meeting led by the two country’s foreign ministers on Sunday.
After the meeting, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said India has agreed to ‘positively consider’ the proposals by Bangladesh.
The foreign minister termed India as the most important and trusted friend among the neighbours.
Sushma Swaraj, the visiting Indian Foreign Minister, said both countries have achieved a lot because of the friendship and understanding that neighbours must help each other.
“India is now supplying 660MW of much-needed power to the Bangladesh people and this figure will double in the foreseeable future,” the Indian Foreign Minister said.
Mahmood Ali said Bangladesh and India are cooperating in many ways to enhance connectivity through road, rail and waterways.
“We proposed some new regional connectivity initiatives,” he said.
Dhaka-Chennai-Colombo air connectivity, Chittagong-Kolkata-Colombo shipping connectivity, Panchgarh-Shiliguri rail link, internet connectivity with Bhutan through Indian territory, trade route connecting Nakugaon Land Port to Gayleyphung (Bhutan) via Dalu (India) are the new connectivity proposals by the Bangladesh government.
He said during the meeting they also agreed that BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement will be implemented between Bangladesh, India and Nepal [BIN] through exchange of letters keeping provision for Bhutan to join later.
Bhutan earlier expressed its inability to continue with the BBIN due to domestic disagreement over the issue.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister said they agreed that MoU for trilateral hydropower cooperation among Bangladesh, India and Bhutan would be signed soon.
“India also agreed to facilitate import of electricity to Bangladesh from hydro projects in Nepal,” he said.
In additional to the current import of 660 MW, India agreed to supply 340 MW more electricity from Tripura through Comilla grid, the foreign minister informed reporters.
Sushma Swaraj arrived in Dhaka earlier on Sunday morning in her second visit to Bangladesh as external affairs minister of India.
Her first visit was her first stand-alone overseas visit since assuming office in 2014.