EAM Jaishankar said this while holding Joint Consultative Commission meeting with Bangladesh FM Dr A K Abdul Momen in New Delhi

Underlining the momentum achieved by India and Bangladesh in their diplomatic ties in the last 50 years, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday talked high of ongoing development and trade partnership between the two countries.

“Today Bangladesh is our largest development partner, it is our largest trade partner in the region; it is our largest visa operation overseas. And that really underlines every aspect of our cooperation. And we in turn, are your largest export destination in Asia. I am glad to see that your exports have doubled to USD 2 billion this year,” Jaishankar said in his opening remarks at the 7th round of India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission.

Maintaining that India is committed to a prosperous and connected sub-region, he said, “We have been working together on a BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement. And we also look at subregional cooperation in power, especially hydropower. We are both the largest producer and consumer of energy in the region.”

The EAM said India is ready to work with Bangladesh to structure a progressive partnership in the areas of energy production, transmission and trade.

Jaishankar also emphasized on better management of the India-Bangladesh border to combat trans-border crimes.

“The better management of our long border is also a key priority. Our Border Guarding Forces are committed to combating trans-border crimes. We must continue to work together to make sure that the border remains crime-free,” the EAM said at the India-Bangladesh JCC meet, which was, on behalf of Bangladesh, represented by the country’s Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen.

Referring to the recent visit of Bangladesh’s ICT minister, the EAM said India is looking forward to working with Bangladesh in domains such as Artificial Intelligence, cyber security and startups.

The EAM also talked about the recent visit of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to Bangladesh and in this context, he reiterated India’s desire to further cooperate with Dhaka in the upgradation of its railway system.

Jaishankar took into account 54 rivers that India and Bangladesh share together. He said, “Comprehensive management of our rivers and their conservation, as well as the shared environmental responsibility that we have, especially the Sundarbans. These are really areas that we need to work together as part of our commitment to climate action.”

The EAM expressed India’s solidarity with Bangladesh at the “unprecedented” flooding the country faced, similar to what India’s North-Eastern states witnessed recently, affecting hundreds of people in both countries.

“We are now sharing flood management data for an extended period. I would like to take the opportunity to convey that if in any concrete way, we can be of assistance to you in the management of flood and relief efforts, we would be very glad to be supportive. It would be in keeping with our relationship,” EAM Jaishankar said.