Pranab Mukherjee will become the first Indian president to visit Bangladesh in close to four decades as the two countries look to strengthen their ties.
The 3-day visit to Dhaka starting on March 3 is also Mukherjee’s first international visit as President of India. The last Indian president to visit Bangladesh was VV Giri in 1974.
The presidential visit comes at a time when both countries are consolidating gains from the ties, while trying to find breakthrough in issues that have remained unresolved for years now.
The US $1billion of Indian assistance — 800million in line of credit and 200million in grant — has gained traction. Bangladesh will soon get the Railway rolling stocks from India, the 500 MW power from the North East grid will follow next.
Considering the installed capacity of power in Bangladesh is 5000MW, what India offers amounts to 10% of it.
Dhaka is also pressing India to speed up land connectivity and the Teesta water sharing pact.