Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he wanted to invite 50 young entrepreneurs from Bangladesh to India where they will interact with businesses and both countries will learn from each other.
"In order to strengthen India-Bangladesh relations, it is equally important to have a better connect between the youth of both countries," he said while addressing a function, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of Bangladesh's independence at the National Parade Ground in Dhaka on Friday.
"On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of India-Bangladesh relations, I would like to invite 50 young entrepreneurs from Bangladesh to India.
"They should come to India, connect with our startups and innovation ecosystems, meet our venture capitalists.
"We too will learn from them, and they too will get an opportunity to learn," Modi said.
"We must journey ahead in the 21st century together," the Indian PM said.
Modi also said Bangladesh and India have "a common heritage, common development, common goals, and common challenges too".
"We must remember that though we have similar possibilities in the area of trade and development, we also face similar threats, such as terrorism," he said.
"The ideologies and forces behind these inhuman acts are active even today. We not only need to be alert, but also need to stay united to fight them," Modi added.
Both countries have the power of democracy and a clear vision for moving forward. "India and Bangladesh moving forward together, is equally important for the development of the entire region," he pointed out.
The governments of both India and Bangladesh have understood this sensitivity and are making meaningful efforts in this direction.
"We have demonstrated that with mutual trust and cooperation, solutions can be found for all issues. Our land boundary agreement also bears testimony to this."
The Indian PM noted that even during this pandemic, there had been excellent cooperation and coordination between the two countries.
"We have worked together to create the Saarc Covid Fund, and coordinated training for our human resources" Modi said.
Talking about his participation in Bangladesh's freedom movement, Modi said the struggle for the liberation of Bangladesh was also one of the first movements that he took part in.
"I must have been 20-22 years old, when along with many of my friends, I did satyagraha, [a form of passive resistance], for the liberation of the people of Bangladesh," Modi said.
"As part of my efforts to support the liberation of Bangladesh, I also courted arrest and had a taste of life in prison. That is to say, there was as much of a longing for Bangladesh's freedom in India, as there was in Bangladesh," he added.
Modi arrived on Friday morning on a two-day state visit to join mainly celebrations of the golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence and the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On his arrival at the airport, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received her Indian counterpart at the airport.
A 19-gun salute heralded the arrival of Narendra Modi while a red carpet was rolled out at the airport to welcome him.
The Indian premier is one of the world leaders to attend the 10-day celebration. This is the first foreign visit of Narendra Modi since the Covid-19 onset.