New Delhi, Sep 8: India and Bangladesh on Friday expressed appreciation for operationalisation of settlement of bilateral trade in Indian rupee and encouraged the business community on both sides to utilise the mechanism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina held bilateral discussions, which covered the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation including political and security cooperation, border management, trade and connectivity, water resources, power and energy, development cooperation, cultural and people to people ties.
Current developments in the region and cooperation in the multilateral fora were also discussed, official sources said.
The two leaders also looked forward to beginning of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), covering trade in goods, services, and protecting and promoting investment.
The leaders welcomed the operationalisation of the agreement on the use of the Chattogram and Mongla Ports and commissioning of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline. Expressing satisfaction at the implementation of development cooperation projects, they looked forward to the joint inauguration of following projects at a convenient date later.
These include opening of the Agartala-Akhaura rail link, operationalisation of the Unit-II of the Maitri power plant and that of the Khulna-Mongla rail link. They also welcomed the exchange of MoUs for strengthening bilateral cooperation in digital payment mechanisms between the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Bangladesh Bank.
Another pact on renewal of the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between India and Bangladesh for 2023-2025 was also exchanged. An agreement between Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC) is to be cleared soon, sources said further.
Regarding the regional situation, Modi expressed appreciation of the burden shouldered by Bangladesh in hosting over a million persons displaced from Rakhine state in Myanmar, and conveyed India's constructive and positive approach to support solutions towards safe and sustainable repatriation of the refugees.
The Indian side welcomed the Indo-Pacific outlook announced by Bangladesh recently. The leaders agreed to continue working together to intensify their wide-ranging engagement. Sheikh Hasina is visiting India as its guest country to participate in the G20 leaders summit on September 9 and 10.