Dhaka: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived here today on a two-day visit to attend a joint consultative committee meeting to review the bilateral ties and discuss ways to further strengthen the relationship.
Swaraj, who arrived on a special Indian aircraft, was received by her Bangladesh counterpart AH Mahmud Ali at the Bangabandhu Air Base in Dhaka.
Officials said the Teesta River deal and the Rohingya crisis were among issues likely to be discussed in Swaraj’s talks with Ali. She is “expected to meet the Bangladeshi leadership and also interact with the representatives of leading Bangladeshi think-tanks, chambers of commerce and industry and cultural organisations,” an Indian High Commission statement said. Bangladesh foreign ministry officials said.
Swaraj is likely to join the signing of two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for setting up a “common facility centre” for small and medium enterprises in southwestern city of Khulna and export of hi-speed diesel to Bangladesh, they said, adding that she would also inaugurate 15 development projects funded by the Indian government.
This is Swaraj’s second visit to Bangladesh and comes after recent trip of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during which India operationalised a USD 4.5 billion line of credit to Bangladesh to enable implementation of development projects in key areas, including power, railways, roads and shipping.
The announcement of the line of credit was made during the visit of Prime Minister Hasina to India in April. The development is also seen as India’s attempt to counter increasing Chinese influence in Bangladesh, whereBeijing is trying to make inroads in infrastructure ventures.