Photo : Collected
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay Verma on Monday (12 February) hoped that better connectivity and new measures like trade in Indian Rupee will further enhance Bangladeshi exports to India.
He joined Bangladesh’s State Minister of Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury at the inauguration of the Sultanganj, Godagari Port of Call, flagging off a cargo vessel from Sultanganj (Bangladesh) to Maia (India) to operationalize the important river connectivity route between India and Bangladesh.
The High Commissioner highlighted the new river route as part of the growing economic and connectivity links between India and Bangladesh and a visible symbol of the recent transformation of their relationship.
He stressed the importance of multimodal connectivity in unlocking the true potential of bilateral cooperation and described the re-opening of the Maia-Sultanganj river route as a step.
This will not only benefit the local economies on the two sides of the border, but will also contribute to national economies and strengthen sub-regional cooperation and integration, said the envoy.
The High Commissioner noted that India was today Bangladesh’s largest export destination in Asia.
Talking about other forward looking initiatives, the High Commissioner noted the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Bangladesh, for which negotiations are going to start soon.
The inauguration of the Sultanganj, Godagari Port of Call and the flagging-off of a cargo vessel from Sultanganj (Bangladesh) to Maia (India) marks the first of the five trial movements of cargo vessels between Maia Port in India and Sultanganj, Godagari Port of Call in Bangladesh on Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) Route 5&6.
There is significant potential for cargo movement through this IBP Route, which is expected to give new impetus to Inland Waterways ecosystem in both countries.
Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation A.H.M. Khairuzzaman (Litton), Members of Parliament from Rajshahi-1 Omor Faruk Chowdhury and Chapainawabganj-3 Md. Abdul Wadud, and Senior Secretary of Shipping Md. Mustafa Kamal attended the event.
Officials from BIWTA, and Ministry of Shipping of Government of Bangladesh were also present.