Bangladesh-India Relations: ‘Into a Brave New World’
India-Bangladesh Friendship Dialogue: Eighth Round
Keynote Address by HSM at the Inaugural Session
Guwahati, India, 2 July 2017 1730 hours
H.E. Shri SorbanandaSonowal – Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam
H.E. Shri M J Akbar – Hon’ble State Minister of External Affairs, Govt of India
H.E. Syed Muazzem Ali - High Commissioner for Bangladesh to India
H.E. Pankaj Deb Nath - Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Bangladedsh National Parliament
Shri Himmanta Biswas -Hon’ble Finance Minister of Assam
Shri Ram Madhab -National General Secretary, BJP, Director, India Foundation
Shri Alok Bansal - Director, India Foundation
Dr.Sreeradha Dutta -Director, MaulanaAbulKalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS)
Shri Satyam Roychoudhury – Vice President, Friends of Bangladesh, India Chapter
Ladies & Gentlemen,
It is indeed a pleasure to be with you all at the 8th round of India-Bangladesh Friendship Dialogue. While Bangladesh and India are enjoying best of relations at the intra-government level, we encourage all track one point five, track two initiatives to further cement the ties between the two countries.
India naturally occupies a deserving space in Bangladesh’s Foreign Policy – given our shared political, cultural, social, economic history over centuries. Today, Bangladesh’s relation with India is surely at its best in decades. I won’t hesitate to underline that there is considerable appreciation on both sides that an enduring relation and engagements between us has to be rooted in our people than the States; and it has to be based on mutual trust, mutual respect as also equitable sharing of benefits.
This is borne by the visible candour, level and intensity of conversation between the Indian and Bangladesh leadership these days. More importantly, there is a growing appreciation in India that by sharing her knowledge – resources – experience – expertise with Bangladesh and her people, a secured and prosperous Bangladesh next door can significantly contribute to the greater growth and prosperity of India.
Yes, there are still areas like sharing common water resources where we look forward to India to travel some distance to share common resources for the benefit of the people of the two friendly countries. Market access for Bangladeshi products is another area. Yet, one would also recognise the progress that we could make in energy sector and in physical connectivity. We in Dhaka welcomed Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s words in 2015, when he said,
“Bangladesh is ‘not merely a neighbour’ but a nation with which India shares ‘enduring links’.