Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has arrived India on an official visit. The visiting leader is likely to focus on water sharing, energy cooperation, uninterrupted commercial flow and greater connectivity.



  • India-Bangladesh relationship rests on two pillars of India diplomacy – Neighbourhood First Policy and Act East.
  • The spirit of friendship, understanding and mutual respect engendered during the liberation of Bangladesh continues to permeate different aspects of this relationship.


Issues to be discussed during the visit

  • River water sharing — India & Bangladesh share 54 transboundary rivers, big and small. River water sharing has been a contentious issue between these two countries.
  • Ganga river dispute —
    • In 1996, the sharing of the Ganga waters was successfully agreed upon.
    • However, the major area of dispute has been India’s construction and operation of the Farakka Barrage to increase water supply to the river Hooghly.
    • Bangladesh complains that it does not get a fair share of the water in the dry season and some of its areas get flooded when India releases excess waters during monsoon.
  • Teesta River dispute —
    • As per an agreement of 2011 the two sides had agreed to share the river’s water 50:50, the same as the 1996 Ganges water-sharing pact between the neighbours.
    • This agreement was not signed due to opposition from Chief Minister of West Bengal.
  • Repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar —
    • More than a million refugees are living in camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazaar area, the burden of which has been weighing heavy on the country.
    • India has supplied humanitarian aid to Bangladesh under ‘Operation Insaniyat’ for the Rohingya crisis. However, Bangladesh expects India to put pressure on Myanmar for repatriation of over a million of Rohingyas.


Status of trade

  • Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia and India is the second biggest trade partner of Bangladesh.
  • Bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh has grown steadily over the last decade and in the FY 2020-21, bilateral trade reached $10.17 billions. During this period, Bangladesh Export to India stood at $1.28 billion while import from India stood at $8.6 billion.
  • Bangladesh’s exports to India, primarily ride on ready-made garments.
  • India offered duty-free and quota free entry to Bangladesh goods under the (South Asian Free Trade Area) SAFTA agreement in 2011.
    • However, after Bangladesh graduates from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status, it will no longer be able to avail this facility. United Nations approved Bangladesh to graduate LDC status by 2026.
    • Hence, India and Bangladesh is considering signing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).



  • India-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge 1 (also known as Feni Bridge) has been constructed which will connect Tripura with Chittagong port of Bangladesh.
  • A ship carrying cargo from Bhutan to Bangladesh was flagged off from Assam in July 2019. It sailed over river Brahmaputra and the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route.
    • This was the first time an Indian waterway is being used as a transit channel for transport of cargo between two countries.
  • To boost sub-regional connectivity, Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) was signed in June 2015.
    • In March 2022, India, Bangladesh and Nepal finalised an enabling MoU for implementing the BBIN


Energy Cooperation

  • Energy cooperation between the two sides has also shown a lot of positivity. Indian state Tripura supplying a total of 160 MW of power to Bangladesh in addition to the 500 MW the country is receiving from West Bengal since 2013.
  • In September 2018, Indian PM and his Bangladeshi counterpart jointly inaugurated the construction of a friendship pipeline project through video conferencing. The 130-kilometre India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project will connect Siliguri in West Bengal in India and Parbatipur in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh.