India’s relationship with Bangladesh stands out as a role model for good neighborly relations in the region and very few countries around the world share such strong fraternal links, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar said on Monday.
He made the remarks at a virtual ceremony along with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, after handing over 10 railway locomotives to Bangladesh.
The Minister of External Affairs said India’s concessional credit lines to Bangladesh amounting to nearly USD 10 billion are the largest it has extended to any country.
“There are very few countries in the world that share such strong fraternal links as ours. Today our relationship stands out as a role model for good neighborly relations in the region,” he said.
On the Bangladesh side, railway minister Md attended the online ceremony. Nurul Islam Sujan, and Abul Kalam Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“We are very pleased to see the transformative growth as your close friend and neighbor. We’ve seen remarkable growth levels in recent years, and your accomplishments in all socio-economic metrics have set new benchmarks,” Jashankar said.
In the last six years, relations between India and Bangladesh have seen a huge upsurge. In addition to implementing a number of connectivity and infrastructure projects, both sides intensified trade and economic engagement.
“Our two countries continue to write a Shonali Adhyaya’s (Golden Chapter) relationship, guided by Narendra Modi and Sheik Hasina ‘s progressive vision,” Jaishankar said.
Speaking of trade ties, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said exports from Bangladesh to India crossed the USD 1 billion mark in 2019, which he described as a 43 per cent “remarkable” growth from the previous year.
He has invited Bangladesh’s business community to further enhance their interaction with India.
“India remains a dedicated development partner of Bangladesh. The largest India has extended to any nation is our exclusive concessional lines of credit of close to USD 10 billion,” Jaishankar said.
“These projects will aid in the growth of Bangladesh ‘s infrastructure, a precondition for its economy to leapfrog to the next level. We need to work together to speed up many of the ongoing projects,” he added.
Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaishankar said it presented new challenges to the world, noting that India is ready to cooperate with Bangladesh ‘s citizens to tide in these challenging times.
“The pandemic has also forced us to come up with creative ways to reduce disruptions to our supply chain logistics. Thanks to our timely efforts, both countries’ business communities have started to use freight trains to deliver goods and raw materials to manufacturing industries,” he said.
“The rail freight movement also ensured that the supply of essential commodities remained undisturbed, as Railway Minister noted, particularly in the holy month of Ramzan, as trade across land borders was facing many challenges,” he added.