Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that by 2041, we want to establish Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous ‘Smart Bangladesh’. That is why his government has laid the greatest emphasis on infrastructural development. Padma Multipurpose Bridge was inaugurated last year with own funding. I think this bridge will make a special contribution to the regional communication system.
Sheikh Hasina said this in a joint speech with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the joint inauguration of three development projects being implemented with the help of India.
Prime Minister from Dhaka and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from New Delhi were connected to the event through video conference.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the joint inauguration of the India-Assisted Development Project proved the unique common friendship and mutual cooperation between Bangladesh and India. He expressed hope that existing relations will be strengthened in the future.
He said, We (Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I) jointly inaugurated three projects today. This is an expression of the unique common friendship and mutual cooperation between our two friendly countries.
Sheikh Hasina said, I am hopeful that many more successful examples of our joint cooperation will be created in the coming days, which will strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
The Prime Minister said, we have proved that a friendly relationship with the neighbor improves the country. I think it is an example for the world.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Narendra Modi said, “It is a matter of great pleasure that we have once again come together to celebrate India-Bangladesh mutual cooperation.” Our relationship has seemingly reached new heights.
The Prime Minister of India pledged to stand by Bangladesh to transform Bangladesh into a developed, prosperous and smart Bangladesh by 2041.
The Chief Minister of Tripura Dr. Manik Saha was connected virtually.
The three projects are – Akhaura-Agartala rail link, Khulna-Mongla port rail link and second unit of Maitri Super Thermal Power Plant.
The Prime Minister said that Bangladesh-India relations are bound by history, culture and language. Both our countries share common values on countless issues including secularism and democracy.
Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh attaches utmost importance to the development of relations with India. Over the years we have achieved success in various areas of bilateral cooperation. These include – improving communication systems, increasing trade and commerce, development cooperation, cultural exchange and facilitating people-to-people communication and much more.
He said that our achievements in the power and communication sectors have set a bright example in bilateral cooperation.
Referring to his second term in 2009, the head of government said that one of the priorities of his government at that time was the development of electricity and communication systems. He expressed gratitude to the Government of India for the remarkable success achieved by Bangladesh in these two sectors.
The Prime Minister thanked the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on behalf of and the people of Bangladesh for inviting him to the G-20 Summit and extending his warm hospitality. He said, I am also thankful to you for your sincerity to strengthen the bond of friendship between our two countries.
The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the Government of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for jointly producing the film ‘Mujib Ek Rati Rupkar’, a biographical film based on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The film is currently showing in all theaters in Bangladesh including India. He sincerely thanked all the construction workers.
He said that through this film, our future generation will know about our freedom struggle, great liberation war and the life and sacrifice of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Chief Minister said that the three projects that we have inaugurated today will ensure the prosperity of the people of both the countries. I also believe that these projects will play an important role in the development of regional communication.
He said that the Maitri Super Thermal Power Plant will make a significant contribution to ensuring energy security in Bangladesh by providing reliable electricity at a more affordable price and reducing our dependence on other expensive sources of electricity. It will also help in cost-effective and uninterrupted power supply.
The Prime Minister said that the Akhaura-Agartala rail link will ensure connectivity and increase trade and economic growth between the people of our two countries, especially with the north-eastern part of India.
The Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Link Project will directly connect Mongla Port with the existing rail network. It will be possible to easily transport the imported containers to the northeastern and western regions of the country by rail.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that Bangladesh’s Chittagong and Mongla Ports and Chittagong International Airport have been opened up by his government for the use of the people of India as areas of regional cooperation.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world by achieving unprecedented economic growth in the last 15 years. Bangladesh is now the 35th largest economy in the world. His government has managed to reduce the country’s extreme poverty rate from 25.1 percent in 2006 to 5.6 percent in 2022. Per capita income increased from 543 US dollars in 2006 to 2 thousand 765 US dollars.
Apart from this, the metro rail service in the capital, the first elevated expressway in Dhaka and the Padma Bridge rail service were also inaugurated this October. Just a few days ago, we inaugurated the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel under the Karnaphuli River in Chittagong as the first country in South Asia. Through this, with the increase in the capacity of Chittagong port, more business opportunities will be created – he said.
The Prime Minister said that in recent times we have achieved many tangible results through the cooperative efforts of the two countries. Among which ensuring peace and stability in the north-eastern region of India, facilitating connectivity of the north-eastern region of India with other states of India through Chittagong and Mongla ports etc.
The Prime Minister concluded his speech by wishing the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India in advance on the occasion of the upcoming Diwali, expressing the hope that Bangladesh-India friendship will live forever.