Dhaka, Delhi sign six MoUs to strengthen ties

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Dhaka, Apr 09: Bangladesh and India on Monday signed six documents to strengthen development cooperation between the two countries.Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale and his Bangladesh counterpart M Shahidul Haque witnessed the signing of the documents at state guesthouse Padma after a bilateral meeting between them.

“Today, we add another 6 documents to our large and growing list of meaningful agreements signed during the recent visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India,” said Vijay Gokhale.

These include the implementation MoU on the friendship pipeline between Numaligarh and Parbatipur, an MoU on cooperation between Prasar Bharati and Bangladesh Betar, an MoU for setting up an ICCR Urdu Chair in Dhaka University and an Addendum to the GCNEP-BAEC Interagency Agreement.

They have also signed two more MoUs for grant projects whereby both sides will set up language labs in 500 schools in Bangladesh and upgrade different roads in Rangpur city.

“This is part of our endeavour to undertake projects in Bangladesh in various socio-economic sectors, including education, culture, health, community welfare, road infrastructure etc. for which we are providing Tk 1600 crore under grant financing,” said the Indian Foreign Secretary.

Vijay Gokhale said India remains a committed development partner of Bangladesh and they have totally extended lines of credit of over US$ 8 billion to Bangladesh in the last seven years, reports agency.

“This is the largest amount of credit India has ever committed to any single country. We’re confident that this credit will be useful to Bangladesh as it pursues its developmental priorities,” he said.

From 2008-09, the bilateral trade has almost tripled from USD 2.75 billion to 7.52 billion in 2016-17.

The Indian Foreign Secretary said Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia.

Some 13 agreements in the private sector worth nearly US$ 10 billion were signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India last year in areas such as energy, logistics, education and medicine.

“We’re committed to further tap the immense potential that exists in this field,” Vijay Gokhale said.

The cooperation in the area of energy and power sector is a source of immense satisfaction to both of them, he said.