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January 23 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


The recent re-election of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh for a historic fourth consecutive term underscores the robust and complex relationship between India and Bangladesh. The ties have evolved significantly from the historical roots established during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

Historical Ties:

  • Foundation in 1971: India played a pivotal role in supporting Bangladesh’s fight for independence, but relations faced challenges in the post-war period.
  • Sheikh Hasina’s Era (1996): The bilateral ties transformed positively with the coming to power of Sheikh Hasina, marked by the signing of the Ganga water-sharing treaty.
  • Cooperation Areas: Over the years, both nations have cooperated in various fields, including trade, energy, infrastructure, connectivity, and defense.

Economic Cooperation:

  • Bilateral Trade Growth: Bilateral trade has shown steady growth, with Bangladesh becoming India’s largest trade partner in South Asia.
  • CEPA and LDC Status: The joint feasibility study on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) gains significance as Bangladesh approaches the end of its Least Developed Country (LDC) status. The agreement and potential Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India are crucial for Bangladesh’s economic future.

Infrastructure Development:

  • Lines of Credit: India has provided substantial Lines of Credit to Bangladesh for infrastructure development, leading to successful resolution of long-pending issues like the Land Boundary Agreement.
  • Akhaura-Agartala Rail Link: The inauguration of this rail link enhances connectivity between the two nations and boosts economic development, particularly in Assam and Tripura.

Energy Cooperation:

  • Electricity Import: Bangladesh imports a significant amount of electricity from India.
  • Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant: Cooperation extends to the energy sector, with both nations collaborating on Bangladesh’s first nuclear power reactor.

Defence Cooperation:

  • Border Length: India and Bangladesh share the longest land boundary among neighbouring countries, necessitating close defence cooperation.
  • Joint Exercises: Regular joint military exercises, including the Army and Navy, enhance mutual capabilities.

Multilateral Engagement:

  • Regional Forums: Both countries actively engage in regional cooperation through SAARC, BIMSTEC, and IORA, fostering multilateral ties.

Points of Tensions:

  • Transboundary River Waters: Despite sharing numerous rivers, only a few treaties, like the Ganga Waters Treaty, have been signed. Issues like the Teesta and Feni remain unresolved.
  • Illegal Migration: The significant issue of illegal migration impacts resources and security in Indian border states, with the Rohingya crisis further complicating the matter.
  • Drug Smuggling & Trafficking: Cross-border drug smuggling, human trafficking, and poaching are challenges that require joint efforts for effective solutions.
  • Chinese Influence: Growing Chinese involvement through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) poses challenges and concerns for India’s strategic interests in the region.

Way Forward:

  • Joint Task Forces: Establishing joint task forces to combat cross-border issues, including drug smuggling and human trafficking.
  • Smart Border Management: Utilizing AI and data analytics for smart border management to ensure security while facilitating efficient cross-border movements.
  • Digital Connectivity Corridor: Creating a digital connectivity corridor focusing on high-speed internet connectivity, digital services, and e-commerce to open new avenues for collaboration.


The India-Bangladesh relationship has evolved dynamically, overcoming historical challenges. The bilateral cooperation in various sectors reflects shared interests and a commitment to mutual growth. Addressing outstanding issues and embracing innovative solutions will further strengthen these ties in the future.


January 23
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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