Emphasizing the need to increase connectivity between the two countries during her interaction with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said that India's North-Eastern states can access the Chittagong port for the purpose.
"If the connectivity is increased, the Indian North-Eastern states like Assam and Tripura can have access to the Chittagong seaport," Hasina reportedly said during her interaction with EAM Jaishankar as quoted by Dhaka Tribune.
The Chittagong or Chhatogram port is one of the important seaports of Bangladesh, located in the region of Chittagong hill tracts. Due to the sea port's close proximity with North-Eastern Indian states, the port facility has the potential to significantly boost economic activity in the North-East Indian states, providing close access to global shipping lanes.
Earlier in the year 2010, India and Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to allow for the use of Chittagong and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh for the movement of goods to and from India.
In 2018, the Bangladesh cabinet approved the proposed agreement with New Delhi to allow for the use of the two ports for the transport of goods.
Jaishankar called on the Bangladesh Prime Minister on Thursday during his two-day visit to Bangladesh which concludes today (Friday).
During the interaction, the EAM and the Bangladeshi PM exchanged views on bilateral, regional, and international issues of mutual interest.
EAM Jaishankar also conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to PM Hasina to visit India later this year.
Jaishankar also met his counterpart, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, AK Abdul Momen and extended him an invitation to attend the next meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission to be held in India prior to the visit of PM Hasina.
During a Joint Press interaction with his Bangladeshi counterpart, Jaishankar also announced the resuming of cross-border bus and railway services between the two countries, shortly after Eid.
EAM Jaishankar arrived in Dhaka on Thursday, kicking off his three-day visit to Bangladesh and Bhutan from April 28-30. Notably, this is Jaishankar's first visit to Bangladesh, since March 2021.