India-Bangladesh connectivity is back to pre-Covid levels: EAM Jaishankar
Trade and investment between the two nations are at new heights, he added
India-Bangladesh connectivity is back to pre-Covid levels, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday, adding that the two countries are looking to resume cross-border bus and railway services shortly after Eid.
Jaishankar, who was on a daylong visit to Bangladesh, said in his statement at the Joint Press Interaction in Dhaka that trade, disbursement of loans on bilateral projects, travel services and investment are at new heights and that they have recovered the momentum which was lost during the Covid.
“I am also very encouraged to see that decisions taken by our leaders last year to commemorate Maitree Diwas in 18 capitals apart from Dhaka and New Delhi, the establishment of the first Bangabandhu Chair in India, the Suborno Jayanti Scholarships for students from Bangladesh, and the Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Exhibition have all been implemented,” the External Affairs Minister said.
“These are all in keeping with the spirit of solidarity between us which we hope to pass on to the younger generations,” he added.
Referring to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said it "taught us how important it was to have regional supply chains, value chains, so that whether it was essential commodities or oxygen or medicines or food, we could count on each other at this time of difficulty".
“We of course, hope to see early commissioning now of many projects including in power and energy sector, in connectivity so that all that we have done in the last few years can be taken forward,” the EAM said.
“India also looks forward to a stronger sub-regional cooperation in connectivity and other areas. The energy sector, particularly the hydropower domain offers opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries in the region,” he mentioned.
Noting that India is a large producer and consumer of energy, EAM Jaishankar said, India was very glad to work with neighbors in that regard, including in the BBIN framework.
“And I want to say that India will continue to take the lead to structure progressive partnerships for production, transmission and trade in our region in this area,” he further said.
During his visit to Dhaka, EAM Jaishankar called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and extended an invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit India.
He also met Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen for discussions on India-Bangladesh relations.