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Sheikh Hasina offers Chittagong port to India’s northeast for use during meet with Jaishankar

Black_cats

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Sheikh Hasina offers Chittagong port to India’s northeast for use during meet with Jaishankar​


Hasina's press secretary said the initiative was taken to resume cross-border routes between Bangladesh and India which were stopped during the 1965 India-Pakistan war.​

ANISUR RAHMAN
28 April, 2022 08:30 pm IST


External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka, on 28 April 2022 | Twitter/@DrSJaishankar
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka, on 28 April 2022 | Twitter/@DrSJaishankar
Dhaka: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who offered her country’s main seaport – Chittagong Port – to India’s northeastern states like Assam and Tripura to enhance connectivity between the two neighbours.

Jaishankar, who arrived here on Thursday on a brief official visit, handed over an invitation to Hasina on her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s behalf to visit New Delhi.

“Thank Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her warm reception. Conveyed personal greetings of PM @narendramodi. Our bilateral relations are moving from strength to strength under the guidance of the two leaders,” Jaishankar tweeted.


During the meeting, Prime Minister Hasina said that the two countries have to increase the connectivity further, her press secretary Ihsanul Karim told PTI.

She told Jaishankar that the enhanced connectivity was needed for mutual benefit while it would particularly benefit India’s northeastern region in using Bangladesh’s southeastern Chittagong port, Karim said.

“If the connectivity is increased, the Indian northeastern states -like Assam and Tripura- can have access to the seaport in Chattogram,” she said.

The Bangladesh premier noted that initiative were taken to resume cross-border routes between Bangladesh and India which were stopped during the 1965 India-Pakistan war, when Bangladesh was eastern wing of Pakistan.
Karim said a number of bilateral and international issues were discussed during Prime Minister Hasina’s more than half an hour long meeting with Jaishankar.

Jaishankar later held talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen and then jointly briefed the media.

“Dr. Momen and @DrSJaishankar discussed the bilateral issues between Bangladesh and India. They expressed satisfaction about the ongoing Bangladesh-India cooperation, vowed to further strengthen the bilateral ties, stressed on regional stability for socio-economic development as a whole,” the Bangladesh foreign ministry tweeted.

Jaishankar said that during the talks with Prime Minister Hasina he extended Prime Minister Modi’s invitation to her to visit India at the time of her convenience.

“I conveyed (her) that we look forward to her visit to India at a time her convenience,” he said, adding that a number of issues relating to bilateral ties as well as rational and global issues came up as he called on the Bangladesh premier.

Jaishankar, who arrived here on a brief official visit, was received at the Bangladesh Air Force Base Bangabandhu by Foreign Minister Momen.

His visit to Bangladesh is aimed at preparing the grounds for Prime Minister Hasina’s visit to India.

The two countries are expected to fix the date of the 7th Bangladesh-India Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting, which is scheduled to take place in New Delhi.

Jaishankar would leave Dhaka for Bhutan on Friday morning.

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

 

Surya 1

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A great Gesture. Subcontinent countries should be friendly to one other and should be sensitive to the security concern of others.
 

bluesky

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Dhaka: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who offered her country’s main seaport – Chittagong Port – to India’s northeastern states like Assam and Tripura to enhance connectivity between the two neighbours.
While west Bengal may use the Gopalpur Port (deep) in Orissa, the NE seven sisters will certainly use our Matarbari deep seaport. Since a deep port does not confine itself to large ships only, therefore, other than external trades, small quantity goods to and from the seven sisters can also be transported to other parts of India via Matarbari.

Nepal and Bhutan will be the other two countries to use this port for their external trade. Building the Matartbari Port was a good decision.
 
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LakeHawk180

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Win-win for everyone involved. But I thought we already had this agreement signed in 2018 for use of Chittagong and Mongla? Are we strengthening that or is this something different?

Whatever the case, I hope initiatives like these increase — and grow from strength to strength. There is just so much potential here that ignoring it would be such a waste.
 

UKBengali

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Although I do not like Modi's extreme Hindu nationalism(nothing wrong with being proud of your religion per se) but he is being wise and has built a very good working relationship between India and BD.

BD exports to India are likely to hit 2 billion US dollars this fiscal, BD imports nearing 1 GW of electricity from India, 700MW will soon come from hydroelectric power plant in Nepal and potentially more to follow and things are looking good for economic co-operation in the region.

Let BD and India lead the way to create a great economic region in the region of BD, W Bengal, NE States, Nepal and Bhutan. If the whole region can reach "middle-income" status by 2035 then that would be excellent for hundreds of millions of people.
 

rainbowrascal

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Chittagong port's uasge will decline to some extent after matarbari and payra port construction. Plus mongla port will also be able to handle more cargo after derdging project is completed. Chittagong port will get a good amount of revenue if this goes through. But will they pursue it? considering they are already working for transit through myanmar
 

Black Tornado

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Although I do not like Modi's extreme Hindu nationalism(nothing wrong with being proud of your religion per se) but he is being wise and has built a very good working relationship between India and BD.

BD exports to India are likely to hit 2 billion US dollars this fiscal, BD imports nearing 1 GW of electricity from India, 700MW will soon come from hydroelectric power plant in Nepal and potentially more to follow and things are looking good for economic co-operation in the region.

Let BD and India lead the way to create a great economic region in the region of BD, W Bengal, NE States, Nepal and Bhutan. If the whole region can reach "middle-income" status by 2035 then that would be excellent for hundreds of millions of people.
India and BD will be high income by then, all it needs is just 13% nominal growth every year.
 

UKBengali

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India and BD will be high income by then, all it needs is just 13% nominal growth every year.





They are both on around 2300 US dollars.

At 13% per year then by 2035 they will be at 11000 US dollars.

While that would surpass the level it is set at now, in 2035 that will be more like "middle-income" really.

By "middle-income" I mean the level of countries like Indonesia are now.

That would be pretty good for the region and a realistic target if the NE states, Nepal and Bhutan are propelled at 10% real(inflation adjusted) nominal growth per year as they get pulled up by both BD and W Bengal economies.


To talk about "high income" is far too early and decades away if it ever happens.
 

pikkuboss

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India and BD will be high income by then, all it needs is just 13% nominal growth every year.
13% Nominal is pretty much achievable considering we are clocking this figure currently amid global recession. If oil prices cool down. Subcontinent will be unstoppable.
 

Black Tornado

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They are both on around 2300 US dollars.

At 13% per year then by 2035 they will be at 11000 US dollars.

While that would surpass the level it is set at now, in 2035 that will be more like "middle-income" really.

By "middle-income" I mean the level of countries like Indonesia are now.

That would be pretty good for the region and a realistic target if the NE states, Nepal and Bhutan are propelled at 10% real(inflation adjusted) nominal growth per year as they get pulled up by both BD and W Bengal economies.


To talk about "high income" is far too early and decades away if it ever happens.
The World Bank defines a high-income country as one with a gross national income per capita exceeding $12,056, so 2035-2036 is realistic in that sense, formalisation will also increase by then as well.
 

pikkuboss

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The World Bank defines a high-income country as one with a gross national income per capita exceeding $12,056, so 2035-2036 is realistic in that sense, formalisation will also increase by then as well.
Definition changes time to time. But our Aim should be more than 10k per capita by 2035.
 

Bilal9

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Win-win for everyone involved. But I thought we already had this agreement signed in 2018 for use of Chittagong and Mongla? Are we strengthening that or is this something different?

Whatever the case, I hope initiatives like these increase — and grow from strength to strength. There is just so much potential here that ignoring it would be such a waste.

Well although agreement was signed in 2018, and Bangladesh has worked rapidly to,

1. Build high grade road infra (4 lane highways and expressways in many cases through Bangladesh), and
2. River and sea port infra (including a couple of river container ports near Dhaka)

Indian States like Assam and Tripura are dragging their feet on completing road and marine infra on their side - Assam AFAIK has no container handling facilities or barges they have bought. Container freight from Assam will be carried cheapest to Bangladeshi river ports using the Brahmaputra river (container barges), using Semi-trailer trucks will be quite expensive but Tripura may have to do it carrying containers to Ashuganj river container port which is being built as we speak.

But the delays we see are mainly on the Indian side, spending good money to build logistics and cargo handling facilities or even buying old container barges to carry container from Assam to Bangladesh. Here is an image of the Dhaka (Pangaon) River Container port. We cannot spoon-feed things to Indian states, they have to take mature decisions themselves.

Pangaon River (Inland) Container port - where transshipment to Chittagong seaport can take place.
pan.jpg


The ships carrying containers from Kolkata to Dhaka are all Bangladeshi (and built in Bangladesh) - where is the Indian shipping effort??

A few Bangladeshi container-ship examples below of a few dozen total.

Pangaon Express
1


MV Nou Kollan 1 and 2
1


The fees paid for transit must be per internationally agreed standard rates. Kanjoosi miserly attitudes on the part of a few short-sighted Indian officials have so far soured Bangladeshis on the whole idea. We have invested considerably in building infra. It is unfortunate (and rude) to expect that we will provide transit services to Indian Govt. or private entities for free or or near free rates. Assam and Tripura govts. should be realistic about doing int'l trade and play with the big boys. The attitude so far is immature and actions are not in keeping with doing serious business.

Chittagong now offers direct container shipping to most large Mediterranean ports in about 15~20 days without even stopping in either Colombo or S'pore - ditto direct to Chinese Southern Ports. Seagoing Coastal ships from China sometimes come directly to Dhaka (Pangaon) to offload containers without stopping in Chittagong (ten day trip from China). When will Assam and Tripura take advantage of these facilities? I am not holding my breath...
 
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bluesky

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The fees paid for transit must be per internationally agreed standard rates. Kanjoosi miserly attitudes on the part of a few short-sighted Indian officials have so far soured Bangladeshis on the whole idea. We have invested considerably in building infra. It is unfortunate (and rude) to expect that we will provide transit services to Indian Govt. or private entities for free or or near free rates. Assam and Tripura govts. should be realistic about doing int'l trade and play with the big boys. The attitude so far is immature and actions are not in keeping with doing serious business.
Bold part: You can expect Kanjoosi from the Indians. They are culturally and traditionally very tight-fisted miser. If BD insists on giving us fair fees, they will cite 1971, saying although poor themselves, how west Bengal and Tripura accepted refugees from BD.

Why river ports are important

By the way, BD should take lessons from the Indian proposals to navigate cargoes through BD rivers. BD itself should build tens of river ports that can handle containers, the similar as your photographs show.

With river containers at points like Faridpur, Goalando, Aricha, Sirajganj, Tangail, Rajshahi, and hundred others, it is possible to spread the export/ non-export industrialization throughout the country, even in the northern Rangpur and Dinajpur.

These river ports can facilitate cargo transport from these far places to the Seaports in Chittagong, Matarbari, Payra, and Mongla at costs much lower than the trucking costs directly from these points to the sea ports.

I hope, someday the GoB comes out with such a plan. Trucks or railways bring the containers to the river ports, small cargo ships carry them to the Sea ports.

This is how the entire country can be industrially developed. Even products for local uses can also be transported in smaller 8' or 10' containers depending upon the volume of orders.

The transport cost will come down and people with money will build industries in their localities. The country equally develops.
 

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