Bangladesh hopes for a liberal approach from India in the efforts to resolve water issues and bringing about parity in bi lateral trade by reducing the trade imbalance that is tilted in favour of India.
Addressing the India-Bangladesh Conclave at Agartala in Tripura on Wednesday, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, "Improved bi-lateral trade relations hold the key to remove poverty, the common problem of both the countries. We need peace in the region for trade to flourish across the borders and Bangladesh will not tolerate any act of terror and insurgency in the region."
She said, "Many issues between the two countries are set to be resolved in near future after her Delhi visit as well as Indian Prime Minister's visit to Dhaka. The vexed border demarcation problem is now almost settled. We expect our vast neighbor India to adopt a liberal approach in resolving the water issues."
She said the trade imbalance between the country which is in favour of India, was a long story. "Bangladesh imports goods worth about $4.5 billion from India per year compared to Indian import from Bangladesh worth about $521 million. Now that India and Bangladesh are enjoying close political ties, the industry and business communities in both the countries need to bolster cooperation to exploit the conducive political atmosphere between the two countries."
She called upon Indian businessmen to invest more in various sectors like power, telecommunication, textiles, healthcare etc., Hasnia at the same time appealed to Bangladesh industry captains to improve their output to make inroads into the vast Indian market at this juncture when the Government of India is opening it up for them.
Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal, who was in Agartala airport to receive Sheikh Hasina along with Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, extended India's help and collaboration to Bangladesh in skill development of their youth to enable the neighbouring country to achieve its development goals.
Hasina was accorded a 'guard of honour' at the State Guest House in Agartala immediately after her arrival here by a special flight from Dhaka.
On her maiden visit to this tiny border state of Tripura, Sheikh Hasina expressed deep gratitude of the people of Bangladesh to the people of Tripura for the latter's help and overwhelming cooperation to violence displaced refugees from Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) and Bangladeshi Mukti Bahini (Liberation Force) during the liberation war of Bangladesh under her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's leadership.
The Bangladeshi premier said, "The history of India-Bangladesh relationship was scripted in Tripura 40 years back. We (Bangladesh people) can't forget the help, overwhelming cooperation, shelter and food extended by people of tiny Tripura to our people and liberation warriors during Bangladesh's Liberation Struggle."
Bangladesh foreign minister Dipu Moni also said, "People of Bangladesh are grateful to the people of Tripura for the help and support extended by them during Bangladesh's liberation struggle."
Lakhs of Bangladeshi (then East Pakistan) people had fled to Tripura during the liberation struggle to escape atrocities by Pakistani Army while Bangladesh Liberation Force was allowed to have a strong base in Tripura.