The Sixth round of the India-Bangladesh Friendship dialogue, organised on 22-23M ay 2015 in New Delhi, jointly by the India Foundation, Friends of Bangladesh and Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi, witnessed high level participation from the political, media, executive and academic circles of both countries. The event acted as a window of opportunity to both witness and participates at an academic level in the ground-breaking processes that Bangladesh and India have initiated and nurtured over last couple of years. The key sessions catered to a very specific set of agenda and scope – keeping the spectrum of sub-regional cooperation in focus. The dialogue rendered a fairly good idea about the future that the two aspirational countries may hope to be heading into.
The dialogue titled ‘Bangladesh-India Relations: Bilateralism and Beyond’ covered the security, trade, and water and energy issues that will define the bilateral relationship for years to come. The dialogue attempted to define the actors, the trends and the peripherals and the optics which shape the economic interaction between the two countries, such as focus on resolving other long-pending problems such as River Teesta water issue and delimitation of maritime boundary.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said both the countries have much similarities and can have a greater degree of cooperation and joint management on issues related to energy and water security, floods and transport.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Sayyed Muazzam Ali spoke eloquently of Mr Modis personal initiative in having the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) in place, saluting him for getting the ratification motion passed without a single negative vote. BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav also said the Prime Minister went out of way to get a consensus on the LBA as he had said that he would not go to Bangladesh without ratification of this agreement. Given the demographic dividends of the two countries, India could be of great help to Bangladesh in training and skilling its large youth workforce.