Prime Minister Narendra Modi met visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina here on Saturday as the two sides held talks to take the bilateral ties to the next higher level.
The two leaders also witnessed the exchange of several agreements in areas including defence, trade and connectivity and inaugurated three bilateral projects including one for the cross-border supply of LPG to the northeast.
Seven documents were signed in the fields of transport, connectivity, capacity-building and culture, including an agreement on the implementation of a Line of Credits (LOC) extended to Bangladesh and a memorandum of understanding on providing coastal surveillance system.
In his address, PM Modi said the aim of the two countries is to make the lives of its people better and added that it is “the basis of our friendship”.
“We have launched 12 projects together in the last one year. Our aim is to make lives better for our people. And that’s the basis of our friendship,” Modi said.
Referring to the pact on LPG, Prime Minister Modi said that the bulk supply of the fuel from Bangladesh will benefit both the countries. “Taking LPG from Bangladesh is a win-win situation. Through this agreement, export, income and employment will increase in Bangladesh,” he said.
The MoU for the supply of LPG will involve export of the fuel by Omera Petroleum and Beximco LPG to state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which will bottle and sell it to consumers.
Talking about the agreement signed on Bangladesh-India Professional Skill Development Institute, Modi said: “It will help in nurturing skilled manpower for economic growth of Bangladesh.”
About the project of Vivekananda Bhavan at the Ramakrishna Mission in Dhaka, Modi said: “It takes inspiration from the lives of two great human beings — Swami Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda — who have an indelible impact on our societies and values.”
“Like the generosity and open spirit of Bangla culture, this mission also has a place for all the followers of all the sections. And this mission celebrates the festival of every sect of the society equally. The Bhavan has more than 100 university students and research scholars,” Modi said.
He said that India prioritises its partnership with Bangladesh. “We are proud that the India-Bangladesh relationship is an excellent example of cooperation between two friendly neighbours across the world and I am glad that our conversation will give more energy to our relationship today.”
Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Sheikh Hasina arrived in New Delhi on a four-day visit on Thursday.
On Thursday, Hasina joined the World Economic Forum summit as the chief guest. Over 800 leaders from 40 countries took part in the two-day Summit.
This is her first visit to India after assuming office for a third consecutive term.
Bangladesh and India have inked over 100 agreements in the last 10 years, 68 of which were concluded in the last three years alone.