Why Bangladesh Is Necessary to India?


Bangladesh and India celebrated their 50 years of historic relationship in December final yr. The relations between the 2 nations have been recognized as ‘a multidimensional fraternal relationship’ – sustaining amid a number of challenges within the final 5 many years. From the 1971 Bangladesh Conflict of Independence to the current traits, the historic ties have more and more deepened into the excellent and ever-expanding space of cooperation between the 2 nations. Within the meantime, Bangladesh’s eco-political energy and geographical proximity have made the nation a hotspot for South Asian commerce and connectivity – reworking it into essentially the most useful neighbor for India. It has additionally opened a bundle of alternatives for the 2 nations to achieve sustainable improvement by mutual collaboration.

As well as, the rising financial significance of Bangladesh to the Indian economic system and the nation’s paramount standing in regional safety, have uplifted the mandate for a particular relationship between Dhaka and New Delhi. Furthermore, in a time of a brand new geostrategic milieu, when nice powers are again within the enterprise of allying with littoral states within the Indo-Pacific area, the significance of Dhaka to New Delhi’s strategic ambitions has elevated exponentially – intensifying the necessity for addressing the remaining challenges and constructing a strong relationship that may be described as a mannequin for bilateral relations.

Financial Significance

As Bangladesh has turn into a key pillar of India’s Neighborhood First coverage, it’s also the biggest buying and selling companion of India in South Asia, and bilateral commerce between the 2 nations grew at an unprecedented fee in the previous few years.

As per 2016-17 knowledge, 83 % of the full Indian exports in South Asia had been made to Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, with Bangladesh alone accounting for 35 %. In accordance to the Commerce Ministry of India, Indian exports to Bangladesh amounted to $6.8 billion within the fiscal yr ending March 2017, recording 13% progress. Throughout the identical time, India’s bilateral commerce with Bangladesh elevated by 9.9 % to $7.4 billion.

By way of power, India is at present exporting greater than 660 MW of energy to Bangladesh. The power cooperation has opened super prospects for a lot of Indian public sector models equivalent to Indian Oil Company, Numaligarh Refinery Restricted, and Petronet LNG Ltd who’re working in collaboration with Bangladeshi teams within the huge power sector of Bangladesh.

India’s jap neighbor has additionally turn into one of many key locations for its migrant staff. In accordance to an estimate, Indian nationals working in Bangladesh despatched nearly $4 billion – making it the fifth largest vacation spot for remittance cash. Bangladesh with its new upper-middle-class inhabitants additionally contributes to the big tourism trade of India. The nation receives the biggest variety of guests from Bangladesh and greater than two million visas are issued yearly by the Indian Excessive Fee in Dhaka – benefitting the Indian economic system at massive. In accordance to the Press Info Bureau of India, the share share of Overseas Vacationer Arrivals (FTAs) in India throughout September 2017 among the many prime 15 supply nations was highest from Bangladesh 20.65%, whereas 10.24% from the USA adopted by UK (7.04%), Sri Lanka (3.98%), Australia (3.5%), China (2.46%), and Nepal (2.3%).

Safety and Connectivity

Safety cooperation has been a serious function in Bangladesh–India bilateral ties. As India sees Bangladesh because the closest companion in making certain safety in its geographically deprived northeast states, Dhaka has taken vital steps in coping with main Indian rebel organizations and maintained shut cooperation with New Delhi by way of intelligence sharing and safety issues. As well as, Bangladesh has additionally entered an Extradition Treaty with India in January 2013 – addressing the safety issues of one another and strengthening mutual belief.

By way of connectivity, each India and Bangladesh have taken arguably essentially the most variety of connectivity initiatives in South Asia which is thought to be one of many least linked areas on the earth. Bangladesh has additionally allowed transit services to India – allowing  it to make use of Bangladeshi territory to move items to its economically underdeveloped northeastern states. As well as, deepening connectivity by roads and railway have boosted the bilateral commerce between the 2 nations. In latest instances, Dhaka has additionally provided India to get entry to its Chittagong and Mongla seaports which is able to assist the northeastern Indian state’s economic system on a big scale.

The China Issue & Indo-Pacific Technique

As China has emerged as one of many main financial powers on the earth, it has constructed shut bilateral relations with nearly all of the South Asian states. By way of Bangladesh, China has changed India as its largest buying and selling companion within the final decade. The 2 nations have additionally maintained shut safety cooperation as China is the key protection gear provider to Bangladesh. Nevertheless, such cooperation is not properly obtained by India which needs to take care of its personal hegemonic standing within the South Asian area. As a result of many Indian consultants consider that Beijing’s rising engagement with India’s neighboring nations is ‘Chinese language design and India’s default’ which weakens New Delhi’s place within the area and hampers its strategic ambition. In addition they argue that if the Bangladesh-China relationship strengthens additional, it may possibly solely be to India’s detriment.

However, such views are rejected by Bangladesh because it needs to stability its relationship with each India and China who’re its key companions in commerce and safety. But, policymakers consider that if New Delhi needs to take care of its fraternal relations with Dhaka – surpassing all limits of bilateral ties, first it wants to handle the prevailing challenges which have stored Dhaka hesitant about New Delhi’s dedication to its neighborhood first coverage.

However, as a key ally to the US in its Indo-Pacific technique to counter the Chinese language affect within the area, India has joined a number of initiatives just like the Quad, Indo-Pacific Financial Framework, and so forth. Since Bangladesh is positioned on the prime of the Bay of Bengal – one of many key elements of the Indian Ocean, it carries vital strategic worth for making certain the goals and pursuits of India and its ally. So, it’s in New Delhi’s utmost curiosity that it maintains shut cooperation with Dhaka.

Whether or not economically or geopolitically Bangladesh carries paramount significance to India. Thus, New Delhi ought to pursue its international coverage primarily based on fraternal rules which is able to by no means engender, even not directly any distance between its solely dependable pal within the area. To take action, it should keep away from actions – undermining Dhaka’s curiosity and addressing the urgent points to reveal its obligation to its closest neighbor. In a multiplex world order, India should act rationally to its pleasant relation with Bangladesh, and it will likely be detrimental to India’s curiosity if that relation is even diluted, a lot much less revised.

[Photo by Prime Minister’s Office, India]

The views and opinions expressed on this article are these of the creator.


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