Bangladesh and India will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to further facilitate bilateral trade in rupee and taka during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India on the occasion of the G20 Summit, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said.
"An MoU will be signed between the National Payments Corporation of India and the Bangladesh Bank to make transactions in rupees and taka between Bangladesh and India easier," said the foreign minister in a press conference at the Foreign Service Academy in the capital on Thursday.
Besides, the neighbouring countries are likely to sign two more memorandums of understanding regarding cooperation in agricultural researches, and extension of the existing cultural exchange programme for two years, said the foreign minister.
There is no possibility of discussing any new line of credit (LoC), the minister added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to leave Dhaka for India on Friday to attend the G20 Summit as the head of a guest country.
Momen said, "A meeting will be held between the prime ministers of Bangladesh and India during the G20 Summit. There is a possibility of inaugurating several electricity and railway sector projects implemented in Bangladesh at this time. Our prime minister will highlight major bilateral issues.
"Regional stability will also come up in their discussion. We often say we do not want to see any proxy war – which is happening in Europe and the Middle East – in the Indo-Pacific region."
Mentioning that Bangladesh will be a global voice at the G20 Summit, Momen said, "The prime minister will address the challenges that developing countries are facing – climate change, post-Covid economic recovery, and fatally disrupted energy and food supply due to the Russia-Ukraine war."
Besides, the prime minister will voice demands for stability in the world. Bangladesh will also raise different issues including migration and green jobs. In addition, she will also highlight in front of the world the incredible progress of Bangladesh in various socio-economic fields.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to hold meetings with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the president of Argentina, and the head of state of the United Arab Emirates on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, said Momen.
Mentioning that he did not know if there will be discussions on the upcoming national election during the summit, Momen said, "We have prepared transparent ballot boxes so that ballots are not cast in the dark of night. We have done everything necessary for a fair election."
"We will not tolerate any kind of pressure regarding the election. We are confident about it. Since we are transparent, we will hold a fair election. If someone does not accept it, it is their headache. They will crumble under pressure but we will survive. Our people will be with us."
He said, "No short-term representative of another country will decide our future. We have seen what kind of havoc foreigners wreak in different countries. We are aware of this. That's why we do not accept their pressure."
The minister said if the United States wants to help Bangladesh in holding a free and fair election, Bangladesh will welcome it, said Momen.
He said, "If anyone extends a helping hand for a fair election, we will welcome it, but if someone tries to bully us, we will not. We are a sovereign country. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is not afraid. If they have any suggestion, we will take it if that is acceptable."
Responding to questions on loans from India, the minister said the loan that India gives under the line of credit (LoC) facilities cannot be used easily. Bangladesh has taken up the issue with India and they are trying to facilitate it. In some cases they have made a lot of changes.
He also said Bangladesh is preparing a more articulated proposal regarding the Ganga Treaty that will expire in 2026.
Regarding the Teesta water-sharing treaty, he said, "A draft of the Teesta treaty has been completed. It is still in that state, but the contract is not signed."