India-Bangladesh friendship is growing from sea to space, many agreements were signed during Hasina's Delhi visit

Ananya Shroff
5 Min Read

New Delhi: Several agreements were signed between the two countries during the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India. India and Bangladesh have expanded their relations through initiatives such as e-medical visa, new consulate, trade in Indian rupee and power export. The two countries decided to partner in the areas of Green Partnership, Digital Partnership, Blue Economy and Space Technology. India and Bangladesh have long had close relations, based on mutual respect and cooperation. Recent developments between the two countries have further strengthened this bond, with initiatives aimed at enhancing connectivity, commerce and cooperation. On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held extensive talks. During this, the two countries signed several important agreements to start negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), enhance defense cooperation and take mutual relations to new heights. The two sides signed several agreements to further expand relations in areas such as digital sector, maritime sector and railway connectivity.

The major announcements of the partnership between the two countries include the decision to launch e-medical visa facility for Bangladeshi citizens seeking treatment in India. This move will not only ease the process for patients but will also strengthen the ties between the two countries in the healthcare sector. Additionally, the opening of a new consulate in Rangpur, Bangladesh will provide better services to the people of the north-west region, thereby further strengthening bilateral ties.

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Following the Modi-Hasina talks, India and Bangladesh signed a document finalising a shared vision for a 'Green Partnership'.
The agreement on maritime cooperation and blue economy between the two countries is also being considered important. Prime Minister Modi said that both sides have agreed to start negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to further economic relations. The Prime Minister also said that there was extensive discussion on promoting defense cooperation, including defense production and modernization of the armed forces. Modi said, 'We welcome Bangladesh's decision to join the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative.'

In terms of trade, India and Bangladesh have taken an important step by starting trade in Indian Rupees. This will smoothen the trade process and boost economic growth in both countries. In addition, electricity export from Nepal to Bangladesh through the Indian grid has been highlighted as an important development, showing the potential for regional cooperation and energy security.

Asserting the importance of India's ties with Bangladesh, he said the country lies at the confluence of New Delhi's 'Neighbourhood First' policy, 'Act East' policy, 'Vision Sagar' and Indo-Pacific vision. Prime Minister Modi said he reiterates India's commitment to realising Bangabandhu's vision of a stable, prosperous and progressive Bangladesh. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said “India is our key neighbour and a trusted friend” and Dhaka attaches great importance to its ties with New Delhi which were born out of “our Liberation War in 1971”.

The India-Bangladesh agreements signed at a ceremony held at Hyderabad House in Delhi include an agreement between IN-SPACe and the Ministry of ICT and Telecommunication of Bangladesh. The agreement was signed by Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited Chairman and CEO Shahjahan Mahmud and Department of Space Secretary S Somnath. The agreement will promote cooperation in space technology and satellite communications between the two countries.

➤Also, a Memorandum of Understanding was exchanged between the Ministry of Railways of India and Bangladesh. The MoU was exchanged by Mohammad Humayun Kabir and Railway Board Chairman Jaya Sinha with the aim of enhancing railway connectivity and facilitating cross-border transportation.

Another MoU for Cooperation in Oceanography was exchanged to promote joint research and exploration in marine sciences, which was signed by High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India Md Mustafizur Rahman and High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Pranay Verma.

MoU was renewed between NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) and Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief of Bangladesh to strengthen disaster management strategies and resilience efforts.

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