Invitation from India as G20 visitor reveals rising significance of Bangladesh financial system: Deputy International Minister Shahriar Alam

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Invitation from India as G20 guest shows growing importance of Bangladesh economy: Deputy Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam

2022-11-27 20:10:51

Out of all of India’s neighbours, the Indian authorities has invited solely Bangladesh as one in every of 10 visitor international locations throughout its Presidency of the G20 starting on December 1. Ties are prone to strengthen on account of the invitation, which comes amidst quite a lot of power and connectivity initiatives between the 2 international locations, says Bangladesh’s Deputy International Minister Shahriar Alam, who spoke to The Hinduabout plans to supply power wants from Russia additionally, for the primary time, and a potential pressure in ties with the West.

Q /
What are the problems you want to see on the G20 agenda subsequent yr?

A /
We’re grateful to India for inviting Bangladesh. And that additionally reveals the rising significance of Bangladesh as one of many world’s quickest rising economies — already the forty first largest financial system, which goes to be the thirty second largest by 2030. Bangladesh want to share its expertise with different member states on local weather change. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have recognized poverty as the commonest enemy. I feel local weather change and financial prosperity for our residents are the priorities for us.

Q /
What’s your response to the COP27 deal, for a Loss and Injury Fund for many weak international locations which were hit by local weather change?

A /
This was a really welcome improvement, particularly for the Local weather Weak Discussion board (CVF) that was arrange with PM Sheikh Hasina as co-chair. CVF international locations, together with Bangladesh, are the bottom zero of local weather change. So in fact, we’re joyful. We simply hope that they may ship on their guarantees as a result of, you already know, everyone seems to be wanting funds at current. So, instantly after COP27, we have to begin working, encouraging main economies to contribute extra and exceed the unique outlays.

Q /
Throughout PM Hasina’s go to in September, India and Bangladesh agreed to quite a lot of power initiatives, together with a excessive pace diesel pipeline. What’s the progress in these agreements?

A /
The pipeline is one in every of them. The opposite main one is the Rooppur nuclear energy plant that we’re establishing with the assistance of the Russian expertise and funding. India is funding below an LOC (Line of Credit score) the distribution, the transmission traces, alongside Bangladesh’s personal funding. The Adani electrical energy plant [in Jharkhand] is prepared for integration on sixteenth December, and through this time of energy scarcity or power shortages within the oil market, that may certainly assist. We’re additionally working with India on proposals for renewable power, bringing photo voltaic power from the Indian grid.

Q /
There are additionally reviews of Russian power provides coming to Bangladesh — is that one thing additionally that you’re chatting with India about?

A /
When the [Ukraine] struggle broke out, [and sanctions began] Russian power seemed like a really low-cost possibility, and India has made excellent use of that. So we explored [importing Russian oil], however sadly, Bangladesh has only one giant refinery, and that isn’t appropriate for Russian crude. In order that’s not going to occur. What we’re discussing with the Russians now’s the provision of refined merchandise, and Russian LNG.

Q /
Might this affect ties with the U.S. and EU international locations, which have seen some pressure over human rights points?

A /
Vitality and meals are thought of to be important commodities {that a} nation is entitled to acquire in its pursuits. Past that, we now have defence cooperation with Russia, and these are historic, want based mostly, and bilateral in nature. I wouldn’t name it a pressure [in ties with the West]. Our engagement, bilateral engagement with the U.S., has elevated, and we now have a dialogue on selling personal sectors, which we may solely do if we had some consolation within the relationship. On among the feedback [made by the U.S., EU, and Japan about Bangladesh], I feel we made our place completely clear that… Ambassadors and international diplomats needs to be conscious of their duties, and limitations and limits…We’re not going to succumb to any stress.

Q /
Bangladesh House Minister Asaduzzaman Khan met with Indian House Minister Amit Shah lately, who raised issues over the assaults on the minority Hindu neighborhood in Bangladesh. What’s your response?

A /
Throughout [Durga] Puja this yr. Bangladesh had the very best variety of about 32,000 mandaps ( pandals). I characterize a constituency of 10-plus proportion of Hindu neighborhood and I see development in variety of minorities yearly. When there was an incident final yr [attack], Prime Minister Hasina herself paid a go to to the spot, and we pursued an inquiry. We’ve got seen [BNP] governments that promoted fundamentalism and excessive proper wing concepts. However I feel Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was profitable in bringing that concord again and we now have conveyed that.

Q /
You might be saying that it’s an issue of the previous. But in its affidavit on the Citizenship Modification Act just some weeks in the past, the Indian authorities mentioned that Bangladesh, like Afghanistan and Pakistan, doesn’t shield its minorities. How do you reply?

A /
I can’t reply to what [the Indian government] says in courtroom. We’ll solely voice our opinion in the event that they elevate it with us. The courtroom order is the [Indian] authorities’s downside, they’re those who must talk this to us, after which solely we’ll react. On this world of 8 billion folks, there’ll at all times be some points someplace. However it’s how the federal government is reacting and whether or not sufficient insurance policies are in place to make sure that rights of all people is upheld. I feel that’s what we’re doing.

Q /
The Teesta difficulty between India and Bangladesh continues with out decision. However lately, we’ve seen a challenge by the Chinese language to construct a dam within the Teesta basin. Has India objected?

A /
Nicely, so far as the Teesta is worried, I feel the answer lies with India. We’re not going wherever with that, you already know, there’ll at all times be curiosity of different international locations and because the nation [is] progressing, rising. We’re mature sufficient to know that these are politically delicate points. In all probability, they [the Chinese] have submitted proposals, but it surely’s not the Authorities of Bangladesh that’s dedicated in these initiatives. I’m not conscious of any such initiatives.

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