Modi’s Dhaka visit raises new hopes

Peace and stability in Bangladesh is vital for India to improve connectivity with the North Eastern states and with East Asia, as envisaged in the Act East Policy. Mr Modi’s two day visit to the Bangladeshi capital, which begins on 6th June, is important for the multifarious issues which shall be on the table with our largest trading partner in South Asia.
Economic cooperation can be a win-win situation, and Bangladesh has offered space for Indian industries in its Special Economic Zone. New Delhi has offered financial assistance in tune of $200 million grant for development projects. Bangladesh has allowed India to use its territory and infrastructure to ferry 10,000 tonne foodgrains to Tripura. Bangladesh which proposes to build a deep sea port can be a partner with India in ship building.
Bangladesh is the first Muslim majority country that PM Modi has is visiting, before he embarks on his tour to West Asian and Central Asian countries in the coming months. If he wins the hearts of Bangladeshis, it will strengthen not only his neighbourhood first policy, but also his agenda for sub-regional cooperation within SAARC (mandated under the SAARC Charter) and revitalise his Act East Policy. Keeping in view the difficulties in taking the SAARC agenda forward owing to issues with Pakistan, India can catalyze cooperation within SAARC by taking Bangladesh into confidence.

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