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India offers Bangladesh its seaports for Exports to third countries

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NEW DELHI: India made the offer during the virtual summit between Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi. “We have offered the use of our sea ports to Bangladesh for export to third countries by bringing in goods using railway containers,” Smita Pant, Joint Secretary (Bangladesh and Myanmar) in the External Affairs Ministry, told an online media briefing on the Hasina-Modi summit.

The rail containers have been a success story for India-Bangladesh trade during much of the Covid-19 pandemic period as it ensured movement of essential goods to India’s eastern neighbour and maintain the supply chain.

She said India impressed on Bangladesh the need for expeditious implementation of projects in that country under the Line of Credit extended by India from time to time.

Responding to another question about India-Bangladesh joint ship-building project, Pant said “the talks on this are on and we will take it forward as there is interest in this area.

Replying to another query about India supplying Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh, she said, “Bangladesh will be accorded high priority in vaccine distribution.”

According to Pant, the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link, which was inaugurated today by the two PMs, would be open to goods traffic “soon” but did not mention any date.

Asked about movement of passenger trains on the route, she said the modalities for this are under discussion.

Terming the Modi-Hasina summit as “very fruitful,” the official said the discussions were comprehensive covering a range of issues.

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