The governments of Bangladesh and India have finalised 19 deals till Tuesday for signing during the official visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in the second week of February.
The two sides have been working on over a dozen more deals for signing during the visit, government officials said after an inter-ministerial meeting held on Tuesday to assess preparations of the visit.
The countries are expected to sign agreements on providing Indian loan for several projects for infrastructure development in rail, road and seaport sectors, satellite development, trade and investment.
Foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque presided over the meeting with participation from the Prime Minister’s Office, and home, defence, land, finance and other ministries.
The Bangladesh government was expected to put emphasis on signing an agreement on sharing of Teesta river water between the two countries, construction of the Ganges Barrage with participation of India and completion of the implementation of the land boundary agreement, among several other deals.
India has been pushing Bangladesh for signing an instrument on a framework of defence cooperation. In his first official visit to Dhaka recently, Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar discussed with Bangladesh officials about New Delhi’s plan for forging a fresh defence cooperation framework.
India has also been pursuing for signing agreements for using Chittagong and Mongla seaports for carrying goods from western part of India to its eastern states using multimodal transport mechanism at a nominal fee.
The prime minister was scheduled to travel to New Delhi in December on an official visit that was deferred to this February.
The visit was set to take place in the backdrop of the state visit of the Chinese president, Xi Jingpin, to Dhaka last October, when 27 agreements,
memorandums of understanding and protocols were signed between the two governments involving about US$ 20 billion Chinese investment here, in addition to 13 deals among the business sectors of the two countries.
This would be Hasina’s first bilateral visit to India after assumption of power by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government in the neighbouring country.
Modi visited Dhaka in June, 2015.
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