Sheikh Hasina said this in a joint statement released after what she described as “a very fruitful bilateral talks” with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
The Bangladesh leader said new deals and protocol and the flagging off bus services were “examples of their commitment to seamless connectivity across the region”.
“The signing of the Coastal Shipping Agreement, the renewal of the Trade Agreement and the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade, as well as the flagging off new bus services are examples of our commitment to seamless connectivity across the region to reduce inequalities and maximizing welfare gains,” Hasina said.
The prime minister said they decided to open Bangladesh mission in Guwahati and Indian missions in Khulna and Sylhet since “people-to-people contact is the strongest of our links”.
“This again,” according to her, “reflects our growing mutual confidence and shared commitment to expand our relationship.”
The two prime ministers flagged off Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati bus services in presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Modi assured her of his government’s cooperation to narrow the trade deficit. Hasina said to “bring balance in trade between the two countries”, they agreed to establish Special Economic Zones in Mongla and Bheramara for India.
“We hope, this would increase Indian investment in Bangladesh substantially.”
She stated at the beginning of her speech: “This is truly a historic moment. We are transforming our relationship to a greater height.”
“We understand each other’s concerns and priorities.”
Hasina said they signed a number of bilateral documents, covering diverse areas of cooperation.
“These include economic cooperation, trade and investment, security, infrastructure development, education, science and technology, IT and culture.”