India-Bangladesh talks to focus on defence cooperation, Aerospace research and economic cooperation

By: |
September 14, 2019 7:11 PM

According to sources, ahead of the visit, the Chief of the Indian Navy Admiral Karamveer Singh will be going on a goodwill visit to Dhaka, which is expected to give a boost to the defence cooperation and maritime security between the two countries.

Also, talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would seek greater cooperation in the blue economy, the peaceful use of nuclear energy, aerospace research and cybersecurity.

Keeping in view of greater involvement of China, India is expected to push for deeper defence cooperation with Bangladesh which was agreed by two countries in 2017, when the leader of that country comes visiting next month.

Also, talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would seek greater cooperation in the blue economy, the peaceful use of nuclear energy, aerospace research and cybersecurity.

Sharing his views with Financial Express Online, Gautam Lahiri, a keen observer of Bangladesh says, “It is time to create an atmosphere of trust and India should try to avoid controversial issues.”

Besides furthering of defence cooperation, “India should promise positively on all outstanding issues including the Teesta water-sharing agreement,” Lahiri opines.

According to him, since Bangladesh is poised for higher growth trajectory India should avail this opportunity for deeper economic cooperation and create a win-win situation for both countries. Also, the proposed bilateral economic cooperation agreement will encourage Indian industry to invest in Bangladesh in proposed India specific Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

When the Bangladesh leader who is scheduled to visit India early next month, topping the agenda of talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the identification of new areas of cooperation and inking of a bilateral economic cooperation agreement.

Sources have confirmed that the draft of the proposed agreement is in the final stages of negotiation.

Though officially the dates have not been announced, it is likely that Prime Minister Hasina is coming to attend the two days India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum from Oct 3-4. This year’s theme of the India Economic Forum is “Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, impacting the World.”

Also on the agenda will be the long-pending issue of Teesta water sharing. In August, after a gap of almost 7 years, the joint river commission of both countries had met in Dhaka and had decided to finalise the agreement before Hasina arrives in India.

Defence Cooperation

According to sources, ahead of the visit, the Chief of the Indian Navy Admiral Karamveer Singh will be going on a goodwill visit to Dhaka, which is expected to give a boost to the defence cooperation and maritime security between the two countries.

Besides India giving a Line of credit of $ 500 million for purchasing defence equipment from India, the two countries already have defence cooperation MOU.

When external affairs minister S Jaishankar was visiting the neighbouring country, he had urged Dhaka to operationalise the defence MOU soon.

The two countries already have agreements inked in various sectors including security, trade, power, energy, connectivity, environment, and infrastructure development.

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