Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's technocrat son Sajeeb
Wazed Joy has strongly supported the government's plans to
"connect" with India and other neighbours and join the trans-Asian
rail and road network.
"It is connectivity. Transit is an aspect. India will get transit
and we will get a fee. We must get a fee. Why not," Joy was quoted
as saying by The Daily Star Thursday.
"Without connectivity and trade in this age of globalisation, the
pace of growth and investment will not increase," he said at a
luncheon meeting organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in
Bangladesh sits at the centre of three main drivers of growth in
Asia -- India, China and Southeast Asia. But it has failed to take
advantage of geography by developing connectivity with the three
economies, he said.
One reason he cited was opposition from the Bangladesh Nationalist
Party (BNP) of Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister.
Criticising the BNP, Joy said the Awami League, led by his mother,
"has moved to establish Bangladesh's connectivity with the region,
which will facilitate expansion of trade, transport and investment
and boost the country's nearly $100 billion economy.
"We'll gain financially. We will get fees for transit of all goods
through our land."
Aside from connectivity with India, the country will have road
links with Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia through the Asian
Highway allowing easy access of Bangladeshi goods to those
countries, he said.
In addition, as China will be linked to the Asian Highway,
bilateral trade between Bangladesh and China will shoot up.
"Ultimately, it'll benefit us," said Sajeeb, an IT professional
with graduation from Texas University who is now with the Awami
Bangladesh and India agreed on connectivity with Nepal and Bhutan
during a visit by Hasina to New Delhi in January, when India
pledged a $one billion line of credit.
Moves are afoot since then to allow India limited access to its
isolated northeastern region, beginning with trans-shipment
through Bangladeshi territory of heavy equipment required to set
up a power plant in Tripura.