Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his visit to Bangladesh by signing five Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina. Modi was on a two-day visit to Bangladesh to attend the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence. this was his first travel abroad since the outbreak of COVID-19 .the visit symbolised the partnership of half-a-century between India and Bangladesh that has strengthened, matured and evolved as a model for bilateral relations for the entire region .
A joint statement was issued after a meeting between Modi and Hasina in Dhaka. “Both the talks were marked by great warmth and cordiality. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral relations, based on deep historical and fraternal ties, which reflect an all-encompassing bilateral partnership based on equality, trust and understanding that transcends even a strategic partnership,” .
They also emphasised on a “speedy” conclusion of the study on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the statement added. bangladesh sought Indian investment in jute mills and expressed willingness to join the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway project.
To enhance trade between the two countries, both prime ministers underscored the need for removal of non-tariff barriers and , for bilateral trade to flourish, both leaders stressed the need for predictability of trade policies, regulations and procedures.” India and Bangladesh also discussed the Rohingya refugees issue, with India stating its willingness to facilitate a “safe, speedy, and sustainable” return of the refugees to Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
One of the major points of discussion was the pending Teesta water-sharing agreement. while Modi reiterated India’s “sincere and continued efforts” to conclude the agreement, Hasina emphasised on the need for a quick resolution to the matter.the two leaders also directed their respective ministries of water resources to work towards an early conclusion of the Framework of Interim Agreement on sharing of waters of six common rivers, namely, Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudh kumar. additionally, both leaders emphasised the importance of effective border management for ensuring a tranquil, stable and crime free border.
The five MoUs between India and Bangladesh cover topics like connectivity, commerce, information technology and sports.
Modi handed over a representational key of 109 ambulances to Hasina. He also handed over a representational box as a symbol of India’s gift of 1.2 million COVID vaccine doses to Bangladesh.two leaders also jointly inaugurated several projects virtually, including opening three new border haats on India-Bangladesh borders and inaugurating a new passenger train ‘Mitali Express’ connecting Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri on the Indian side.This is the third passenger train after Maitree Express (Dhaka-Kolkata) and Bandhan Express (Khulna-Kolkata) running between the two countries. the foundation-stone of a monument at Bangladesh Ashuganj in memory of 1971 martyred Indian soldiers, extended development work at Rabindra Bhawan in Kuthibari and ground breaking for Infrastructure Development for Power Evacuation Facilities of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
The MoUs signed were on disaster management, resilience and mitigation, cooperation between Bangladesh National Cadet Corps and National Cadet Corps, and establishment of a Framework of Cooperation in the Area of Trade Remedial Measures.Modi and Hasina also released India-Bangladesh Friendship stamps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations.