Bangladesh FM: Good Relations with India Crucial for Development

Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud emphasizes the importance of good relations with India for Bangladesh's development, citing their shared border and strong bilateral ties. Mahmud dismisses a failed social media campaign calling for a boycott of Indian products, accusing the opposition party of hypocrisy and attempting to create instability.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Bangladesh FM: Good Relations with India Crucial for Development

Bangladesh FM: Good Relations with India Crucial for Development

Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud has stressed that maintaining good relations with neighboring India is vital for Bangladesh's development, possible, without. In a statement on Monday, Mahmud cited the two countries' shared border spanning several thousand kilometers as a key factor necessitating strong bilateral ties.

"The country [India] which we [Bangladesh] have several thousand kilometers of border ... the country with which we have borders on three sides - our development is not possible without maintaining good relations with that country," development, possible, without, good, campaign Mahmud said. His remarks come amidst a failed social media campaign backed by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) calling for a boycott of Indian products.

Why this matters: The strengthening of Bangladesh-India relations has significant implications for regional stability and economic growth in South Asia. Stronger bilateral ties can also pave the way for increased cooperation on issues like trade, security, and climate change, benefiting not only the two countries but also the broader region.

product, campaign, aims, market Mahmud, who also serves as the joint general secretary of the ruling Awami League party, dismissed the BNP's efforts as unsuccessful. "Their efforts [call for boycotting Indian products] went unsuccessful. They know it, too. It will be refused by the people of the country again if BNP comes up with the agenda afresh," he stated.

The foreign minister warned that repeating calls for a boycott would only further isolate the BNP from the Bangladeshi people. He pointed out the hypocrisy of BNP leaders, many of whom use Indian products in their own homes, and accused the party of attempting to create instability in the domestic markets and economy through the call, products, failed, people, movement.

Bangladesh and India have long shared close economic, cultural and strategic ties. The two countries' bilateral relationship was further strengthened by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh in March 2021 to commemorate the country's 50th anniversary of independence. During the visit, the two nations signed five Memorandums of Understanding covering areas such as connectivity, commerce, information technology and sports.

Last week, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra traveled to Bangladesh, meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other top leaders to review the countries' strong bilateral relations. Kwatra extended an invitation from Modi for Hasina to visit New Delhi.

As Bangladesh's largest trade partner, India's exports to the country totaled $16.16 billion in the 2022-23 fiscal year, while Bangladesh's exports to India reached $2.76 billion. Major Indian exports to Bangladesh include cotton, electrical machinery, vehicles, and cereals. Bangladesh's main exports to India include apparel, animal/vegetable fats and oils, fish, and textile articles.

Foreign Minister Mahmud's comments underscore the critical importance of Bangladesh-India relations in fostering Bangladesh's continued . With bilateral trade at record levels and cooperation expanding across multiple domains, the two South Asian neighbors appear poised to further deepen their multifaceted partnership in the years ahead.

Key Takeaways

  • Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud stresses importance of good relations with India for development.
  • Strong Bangladesh-India ties crucial for regional stability and economic growth in South Asia.
  • Failed social media campaign by opposition BNP calls for boycott of Indian products.
  • Bangladesh and India have close economic, cultural, and strategic ties, with bilateral trade at record levels.
  • Cooperation expanding across multiple domains, including trade, security, and climate change.