Bangladesh seeks Indian investments in 100 Special Economic Zones

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Published: June 18, 2019 4:46:29 PM

This is the first meeting between the two leaders after Momen took over his charge five months back and former diplomat Jaishankar who took over as the new external affairs minister last month.

Bangladesh india ties, Indian investments in Special Economic Zones, SEZ in Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Act East policy, S JaishankarThis grouping is a 27 member pan-Asia forum for enhancing cooperation and promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. (Reuters photo)

Bangladesh has sought the cooperation of India in attracting Indian investment in almost 100 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Bangladesh. Last week, there was a meeting between external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar and his Bangladesh counterpart AK Abdul Momin on the sidelines of the 5th Conference of Interaction and Confidence Measures in Asia (CICA) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. This grouping is a 27 member pan-Asia forum for enhancing cooperation and promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.

This is the first meeting between the two leaders after Momen took over his charge five months back and former diplomat Jaishankar who took over as the new external affairs minister last month.

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Gautam Lahiri, a senior journalist and Bangladesh expert, told Financial Express Online, “Besides seeking Indian investments, in the meeting, the Bangladesh Foreign Minister Momen drew Jaishankar’s attention to his government’s expectations about the signing of a deal on sharing the Teesta River water and about stopping killings at the border areas. He also sought India’s active support to resolve the Rohingya issue.”

Jaishankar assured Bangladesh of necessary cooperation in this regard and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has shown sympathy to the development of India’s friendly relations with neighbouring countries said sources privy to the discussion.

During a bilateral meeting between the two leaders in Dushanbe last Friday, Jaishankar mentioned the importance of Bangladesh as the gateway to India’s North East Economic diplomacy and expressed satisfaction over the existing relation and emphasised joint efforts to further deepen mutual trust and friendship between the two neighbours, Lahiri added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already made it clear that both `Act East policy’ and Neighboorhood First policy will get a boost as it is critical for enhancing cross border trade and connectivity in the region.

New Delhi has already approved the 150 metres long 4-lane bridge which is expected to connect Tripura with Chittagong port in Bangladesh, and which is only around 70 km away from the Indo-Bangla border.

As reported earlier, this connectivity will play a critical role in the proposed economic corridor which will traverse through India, China, and Myanmar, and is expected to be completed by next March.

The Central government has already approved Tripura Government’s proposal for setting up a second integrated check-post in the state which will help in improving the trade, commerce and relations with neighbouring Bangladesh, said, Lahiri.

Adding, this project has to be implemented by the Land Port Authority of India on the lines of Akhaura Integrated check-post which was set up in 2013.

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