- India and Bangladesh settled their prickly 4,096-km-long land boundary issue on Saturday.
- As Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina exchanged instruments of ratification of the land boundary agreement, far away in the enclaves on the India-Bangladesh border, the door opened for over 50,000 virtually stateless people to finally get a national identity.
- Of equal significance is an agreement that will allow Indian cargo vessels to use the Chittagong and Mongla ports in Bangladesh.
- This agreement has immediate connectivity benefits.
- For India to gain access to use the port is a big achievement both in economic terms, and also as an expression of greater trust with Bangladesh.
- Modi announced a $2 billion line of credit for Bangladesh to use for infrastructure, power, health and education projects.
- Power supply from India to Bangladesh will grow from 500 MW to 1,100 MW within two years.
- Bangladesh would in turn be able to use Indian territory to access markets in Nepal and Bhutan.
- India will open two new consulates in Sylhet and Khulna in Bangladesh, while Guwahati will see a new Bangladesh consulate in the coming months.
- Modi referred to the growing security cooperation between Bangladesh and India, as their coast guards signed an MoU, and both countries signed deals to combat human trafficking, smuggling and circulation of fake currency notes.
- Signing an agreement to allow an Indiaspecific SEZ would encourage Indian investment and give both countries a way to address the yawning trade deficit.
- The shipping and the inland waterways agreements,would enable direct regular shipping links and relieve congestion in land stations.
Source:The Economic Times