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'Connectivity offers game-changing opportunity for India, Bangladesh'

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New Delhi, Jun 20 (PTI) Connectivity offers a "game-changing" opportunity for India and Bangladesh and bilateral ties can act as a catalyst for strengthening regional and sub-regional cooperation, the envoy of the neighbouring country said today.

Speaking at a seminar here, Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali said the two countries were working to restore road, rail, and coastal shipping links that had existed in the pre-Partition period.

"At the same time, new land ports and better infrastructure are built to facilitate greater trade. Bangladesh-India bilateral ties can also act as a catalyst for strengthening regional and sub-regional cooperation and integration," he said.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are deeply committed to promote the bilateral relations for the betterment of the people of the two countries, Ali said at the seminar titled 'Bangladesh's Graduation from LDC: New Frontiers and Horizons for India Bangladesh Economic Engagement'.

The seminar here was organised by the Bangladesh High Commission in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), to celebrate the eligibility of Bangladesh for graduation from LDC (least developed country) status.

On March 15, the United Nations Committee for Development Policy (CDP) announced that Bangladesh had met the graduation criteria for the first time.

In view of Bangladesh's economic achievement, the Bangladeshi envoy said there was enormous scope to combine the two countries' synergies particularly in the areas of connectivity, trade and commerce and energy.

This would be of mutual benefit for India and Bangladesh and for the region, he said.

"Connectivity offers a game-changing opportunity for India and Bangladesh which would bring about unprecedented benefit for us as well as for the region,” Ali said.

Noting that Bangladesh figures prominently in Prime Minister Modi's 'Act East' policy, he said both countries were working on strengthening sub-regional cooperation within Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Northeast India under the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) initiative as well as strengthening inter-regional cooperation with Southeast Asian countries under the aegis of BIMSTEC and ASEAN.

The Motor Vehicle Agreement could start operation soon as the three countries -- Bangladesh, India and Nepal -- have ratified the pact, while Bhutan would join later, the envoy said.

"All these connectivity projects will facilitate the exploration of more opportunities through trade and investment," he said. PTI ASK ZMN


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