GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has called for restoration of the Brahmaputra-Barak-Padma-Meghna riverine waterways to take forward the outcome of the India-Bangladesh Stakeholders' Meet.
The Chief Minister conveyed this to a delegation led by Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, which met him at his office in Dispur on Wednesday. The delegation is here to take part in the two-day India-Bangladesh Stakeholders meet.
Leaders from both Assam and Bangladesh have vowed to explore relations in areas like garment industry, health tourism, IT and education sector, for the mutual benefit.
Sonowal said India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed to enhance bilateral relations.
Munshi said the present positive environment created in trade and connectivity between Assam and Bangladesh was the best in 30 years.
He said both Assam and Bangladesh should work to strengthen the economic ties. Given the geographical proximity, both Assam and Bangladesh should open up to promote business.
Sonowal stressed restoration of trade links between Assam and Bangladesh. "The ports in Bangladesh need to be linked with Assam through Brahmaputra-Barak-Padma-Meghna riverine waterways to facilitate economic growth of the region," Sonowal said. The rail connectivity between northeast and Bangladesh should also be restored, he added.
He reiterated modalities to decide the standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure speedy implementation of agreements, which would ensure access to Chattogram and Mongla Ports of Bangladesh for the northeast, and execution of the BBIN motor vehicle agreement.
"Unless there is seamless connectivity, any joint venture would not be successful," Sonowal said.