"We should expand our horizon": Bangladesh PM's adviser on economic cooperation with India

World Saturday 22/June/2024 07:12 AM
"We should expand our horizon": Bangladesh PM's adviser on economic cooperation with India

New Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rehman on Friday reiterated to expand the horizon of economic cooperation with India to give a major boost to ties between the two nations.

"Bangladesh businesses should also look at other areas of India... That's something which we should... We should expand our horizon... Many of the CEOs showed an interest in the energy, healthcare, FMCG, IT and agriculture sectors," told Rehman to ANI.

Notably, at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in India on Friday for a two-day state visit that marks the first incoming bilateral state visit following the formation of the Indian government after the 18th Lok Sabha elections.

Rehman, while mentioning his meeting with industry CEOs and stated that the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) proposed that Bangladeshi businesses should consider expanding into other parts of India, which Hasina supported.

While speaking to ANI, Sheikh Hasina's Private Industry and Investment Adviser said, "All the CEOs which we met today, some of them are already invested in Bangladesh. And some of them said that they want to increase their involvement in Bangladesh. They want to increase their investment. Some want to explore the opportunities... CII said there has been a lot of concentration in northeastern India and Bangladesh. A lot of economic cooperation has been done. But CII gave a very interesting proposal which Prime Minister Hasina supported wholeheartedly."

Bangladesh is uniquely located to export its products to North East India, Bhutan and South East Asian countries and several initiatives have been taken to increase connectivity.

Salman F Rehman explained that Bangladesh has a close relationship with India, supported by both Prime Minister Modi's "Neighbourhood First" policy and Prime Minister Hasina's priority on neighbouring countries.

"Our relationship with India is very close. Prime Minister Modi has always said 'neighbourhood first'. Prime Minister Hasina always says that she will give priority to the neighbours. This visit is taking place in the spirit of that relationship. It is a bilateral visit. This visit was planned long before. In between, Bangladesh and Indian elections came up... Now that both the elections are over, we have come. We want to build much more on the existing, very friendly and strong relations. This relationship is increasing our economic cooperation between the two countries, both at the government level but more importantly at the private sector level," said Rehman to ANI.

While underscoring Sheikh Hasina's visit, Salman F Rehman said that the most important outcome expected on Sunday is that both prime ministers will reaffirm the strong bond and relationship between the two nations.

"The most important output which can be expected tomorrow will be a reaffirmation of the very, very strong bond and relationship between our two countries both the prime ministers will reaffirm that," Rehman said.

PM Hasina was among the international leaders who attended the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Modi and the Union Council of Ministers on June 9.

India and Bangladesh have developed a multifaceted relationship, marked by shared history, culture, and geographical proximity. The two neighbours enjoy warm ties, which have strengthened under the leadership of Prime Ministers Modi and Hasina.

Last year, the two leaders jointly inaugurated the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline on March 18.
PM Hasina also participated virtually in the inaugural session of the Voice of the Global South Summit on January 11, 2023, and the second Virtual Voice of the Global South Summit on November 17, 2023.
As a guest country invited to India's G20 Presidency in 2023, Bangladesh participated in various tracks at the ministerial level, including the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting and the G20 Development Ministers Meeting in March 2023 and June 2023, respectively.

On November 1, 2023, both prime ministers jointly inaugurated three Indian-assisted development cooperation projects virtually: the Akhaura-Agartala cross-border rail link, the Khulna-Mongla Port rail line, and Unit II of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant in Bangladesh.