India’s Neighbourhood Current Affairs - 2020

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Sri Lankan Prime Minister visits India: Terrorism and Trade discussed

On February 8, 2020, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa held high level talks with PM Modi during his five-day visit to India. The leaders held talks about terrorism, trade and economic projects in New Delhi

Highlights

The meet will enhance mutual economic trade and investment. The leaders also discussed improving tourism and connectivity. On the side lines of the meet, PM Modi announced that India will provide a grant of 400 million USD for developmental projects in Sri Lanka. The countries also have plans to expand the housing projects undertaken by India in the island to all parts of the country. India has also allocated 50 million USD to help the country deal with terrorism.

It is to be noted that in 2019, India granted a line of credit of 450 million USD to Sri Lanka.

India-Sri Lanka

The location of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean has been strategic geopolitical relevance to many major powers. The Chinese are building gigantic modern ports in the Indian Ocean. It includes Hambantota (Sri Lanka), Gwadar (Pakistan), Kyauk Phru (Myanmar) and Chittagong (Bangladesh).

Therefore, it is essential for India to maintain close ties with the island nation to resist the increase of foreign presence in the IOR.

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Bangladesh and Bhutan sign agreements on trade and land allocation

Bangladesh and Bhutan have signed two agreements. The two signed agreements are

  • Agreement on Trade: It will allow the two neighbouring countries to enjoy duty-free export of 90 items to each other. Earlier, Bhutan enjoyed duty-free export of 74 items from their country to Bangladesh.
  • Allocation of a land: Allocation of a land at Dhaka city’s Baridhara diplomatic enclave to Bhutan for the construction of its embassy.

Agreement on Trade was signed by Bangladesh’s Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and Bhutan’s Economic Affairs Minister Norbu Wangchuk.

While Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and his Bhutanese counterpart Rinzin Dorje inked the deal on the land allocation.

Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay witnessed the agreement signing ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Bangladesh will allow duty-free import of bolder that will be used for the construction of Padma Bridge, a mega infrastructure project of Bangladesh.

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