India has reiterated that it gives highest importance to Bangladesh when it talks about its relation with the neighbouring countries.
“Our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has shown clear indications that relations with neighbouring countries are of top priority. And when we talk about Bangladesh it is at the highest level,” said India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Sitharaman’s statement assumes significance as Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali is visiting India on Sept 18 with an 18-member high-level delegation to discuss issues like connectivity, trade and transit and commerce, among others.
“Building a relation is not something that just happens over a cup of coffee, it needs right approach. Both the countries share common interest,” said Sitharaman in a reply to a bdnews24.com.
She said the Bangladesh foreign minister’s forthcoming visit will further strengthen the relations.
Apart from finalising the regular coastal shipping service issue between both the countries, Mahmood Ali is likely to raise the issue of Teesta river water sharing and the land boundary agreement.
Sitharaman said her ministry will do whatever it took to boost trade and commerce with other countries.
India’s trade surplus with SAARC countries has doubled.
“As part of our larger vision, a more focused direction would be given to the utilisation of FTAs and to establish new approaches to preferential trading with Latin America, CIS region and Africa,” Sitharaman said.
Interacting with the media on the initiatives and issues related to her ministry, Sitharaman said that greater economic integration had been achieved in South Asia.
“Besides that, a line of credit of $1 billion has been offered to Bhutan. During the first quarter of 2014-15, exports to South Asian countries have grown by 39 percent,” she said.
Source: Bd news24