#Japan, Speeding up #India, #Bangladesh Connectivity

S jaishankarFile photo

PM Modi will be in Dhaka for Mujib Borsho celebrations and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s Independence and 50 years of Bangladesh-India relations

DnaIndia-Keen on increasing connectivity in the Bay of Bengal region, Indian and Bangladeshi foreign ministers discussed Japan as a third country for partnership on connectivity in the region. India’s external affairs minister S Jaishankar was on a one-day Dhaka visit on Thursday during which he held talks with Bangladeshi foreign minister AK Abdul Momen with one of the key focus areas being on connectivity.

During the joint statements, Jaishankar said, “If we can get connectivity right between India and Bangladesh, I can tell u the entire logistics, the whole geo-economics of the region will change, the Bay of Bengal will look very different.”

He explained, “both of us believed that this is possible, a lot of our conversation was on this specific subject, we actually feel, we should even involve third countries we talked about Japan as a possibility because both of us have very good relations with Japan and Japan is involved in connectivity projects in the Bay of Bengal. I would pick connectivity as a big goal.”

Japan has been involved in a number of connectivity projects in India’s northeast. Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) stands at over Rs 1600 cr in India’s northeast with projects, many of them connectivity in 7 states of the region. The projects include Guwahati sewerage projects, Sikkim major district roads projects.

In Bangladesh, Japan is involved in projects like Dhaka mass rapid transit development project, Kanchpur, Meghna, Gumti 2nd bridge Construction, Chittagong city outer ring road project, Jamuna railway bridge construction project. 

EAM’s visit comes ahead of Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the country on March 26 and 27 as the country celebrates its 50th Independence anniversary. During EAM’s visit, the Teesta water issue was also discussed, with EAM in response to a question saying, “We did discuss it. And we have a meeting of our water resources secretaries soon. The will be discussing it further. I think you all know the position of the Indian Government. That position has no change.”

Prime Minister Modi will be in Dhaka for the Mujib Borsho celebrations as well as the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations. Amid the covid pandemic, India reached out to Bangladesh and just recently sent covid vaccines to the country.

Bangladesh FM AK Abdul Momen said, “We thankfully acknowledge the collaborative initiative of the two countries in implementing the vaccination program against the ongoing pandemic. As you all are aware, Bangladesh has purchased the COVID vaccine from Serum Institute of India and the Government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is implementing the nationwide vaccination program free of cost.”

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