Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi have come to an agreement that, now, Bangladeshi businessmen can use specific Indian land customs stations, seaports and airports to run export operations to third countries eg. Nepal and Bhutan. According to a joint statement issued on Wednesday, Bangladesh will be provided with free transit for exporting its products to those countries.
Currently, Sheikh Hasina is on a visit to her counterpart in India, PM Narendra Modi from september 5-8, at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. Bangladesh requested India to allow rail connectivity access with Bhutan through Chilahati – Haldabari route and based on the viability and feasibility, the Indian side confirmed this matter during delegation-level bilateral talks. For this, the Bangladesh side was required to remove port restrictions, inter alia at the Chilahati – Haldibari crossing.
Both countries want to improve bilateral and sub-regional connectivity via early operationalization of BBIN motors vehicles. So, India requested Bangladesh to cooperate for initiating sub-regional connectivity projects including a highway form West Bengals Hilli to Mahendraganj in Meghalaya through Bangladesh. In return, Bangladesh is also seeking a place to be a partner in the project initiative of India – Myanmar – Thailand trilateral highway.
Moreover, both countries have praised bilateral initiatives, such as, conversion to dual-gauge of Tongi-Akhaura line, supply of railway rolling stock, capacity building for the personnel of Bangladesh Railway, sharing of IT solutions for improved services of Bangladesh Railway, Kaunia-Lalmonirhat-Mogalghat-New Gitaldaha link, establishing a link between Hili and Birampur, upgradation of track and signaling systems and railway stations along the Benapole-Jessore line, link restoration between Burimari and Changrabandha, construction of a container depot at Sirajganj.
India has expressed their eagerness towards the expansion of bilateral coastal shipping agreement of 2015 to put in third country EXIM cargo and speed up the shipping links between two countries. Moreover, countries also decided to initiate riverine services under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) routes 5 & 6 (Dhulian to Rajshahi -extension to Aricha) and 9 & 10 (Daudkandi to Sonamura).