Pro­mot­ing Cross Bor­der In­vest­ment and Trade

H.E. Mr Man­sukh Man­daviya Hon’ble Min­is­ter of State Road Trans­port and High­ways Ship­ping and Chem­i­cal & Fer­tilis­ers, Govt of In­dia

Maritime Gateway - - Contents -

This is my first visit to Bangladesh and I thank you for the warm hos­pi­tal­ity ex­tended. Bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween In­dia and Bangladesh be­gan im­me­di­ately after the in­de­pen­dence of the na­tion in 1971 and since then we have en­joyed very good diplo­matic, friendly and cor­dial re­la­tions. There has been sig­nif­i­cant progress in the bi­lat­eral re­la­tions of the two coun­tries un­der the lead­er­ship of Prime Min­is­ter of In­dia, Naren­dra Modi and his coun­ter­part in Bangladesh, H.E. Sheikh Hasina, MP. The mo­men­tum in our re­la­tion­ships has gone up due to the fre­quent high level ex­change of visit be­tween the two coun­tries.

The visit of Naren­dra Modi, Prime Min­is­ter of In­dia, to Bangladesh in June 2015 and visit of H.E. Sheikh Hasina,

MP, Prime Min­is­ter of Bangladesh, to In­dia in April 2017 have marked sig­nif­i­cant mile­stones in our re­la­tion­ships. Bangladesh is to­day our big­gest de­vel­op­ment part­ner. Over the last few years we have ex­tended three lines of credit worth $8 bil­lion for var­i­ous so­cioe­co­nomic and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment projects in Bangladesh. We have taken a num­ber of ini­tia­tives to im­prove con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween our two coun­tries. Last month the two Prime Min­is­ters jointly in­au­gu­rated five dif­fer­ent projects in the area of con­nec­tiv­ity and in­te­gra­tion of our en­ergy net­works. Mar­itime re­la­tions be­tween our coun­tries be­gan in 1972 with the sign­ing of pro­to­col on in­land wa­ter tran­sit and trade.

In­dia has 200 ma­jor and non-ma­jor ports and about 20,000 km of in­land wa­ter­ways.

In­dian gov­ern­ment has al­lowed 100 per cent FDI in the ship­ping sec­tor which pro­vides ma­jor in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity. Re­cently the gov­ern­ment of In­dia launched the flag­ship Sa­gar­mala Pro­gramme to pro­mote port-led de­vel­op­ment, while re­duc­ing lo­gis­tics cost for in­creas­ing com­pet­i­tive­ness of our prod­ucts. It will fos­ter in­dus­trial growth and cre­ate new jobs. A num­ber of ini­tia­tives have been taken for en­hanc­ing port ca­pac­ity, pro­mot­ing con­nec­tiv­ity, coastal ship­ping and in­land wa­ter trans­port. In­dia also pro­poses to de­velop two ports as tran­ship­ment hubs and state of art ship re­pair fa­cil­ity on the east coast of In­dia. These ini­tia­tives will help Bangladesh by of­fer­ing ser­vices much closer to its geo­graph­i­cal bound­aries.

To boost in­land wa­ter trans­port, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia has de­clared

111 river sys­tems as na­tional wa­ter­ways for mak­ing them nav­i­ga­ble. De­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties have been taken up in phased man­ner for de­vel­op­ment of these newly de­clared

106 na­tional wa­ter­ways. Jal­marg Vikas Project is be­ing im­ple­mented for nav­i­ga­tional ca­pac­ity aug­men­ta­tion of NW-1 on Hal­dia to Varanasi route which will have an as­sured depth of 2.2 to 3mts for atleast 330 days in a year. We also pro­pose to un­der­take de­vel­op­ment of two prom­i­nent wa­ter­ways in our north­east re­gion on Brahma­pu­tra.

Ini­tia­tives taken by both coun­tries such as coastal ship­ping for cargo and cruise ser­vice will also pro­pel eco­nomic growth. I am sure that this event will pro­vide an ex­cel­lent plat­form for ex­change of ideas among in­dus­tries, gov­ern­ment and as­so­ci­a­tions in South Asia re­gion for en­hanc­ing in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to set up high qual­ity in­fra­struc­ture with a view to bring about fur­ther im­prove­ments in the mar­itime con­nec­tiv­ity and over­all ef­fi­ciency for the well­be­ing of peo­ple in the re­gion.

Ini­tia­tives taken by both In­dia and Bangladesh such as coastal ship­ping for cargo and cruise ser­vice will also pro­pel eco­nomic growth

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