India on Wednesday launched a promotional activity for selling defence equipment to Bangladesh

‘India and Bangladesh have close cooperation in many diverse areas and therefore are natural partners to pursue further cooperation in the field of defence technologies,’ Indian high commissioner Riva Ganguly Das said at a seminar on Indian defence equipment in Dhaka.

Representatives from twelve different Indian firms participated in the seminar organised by High Commission of India, according to a press release.

Industries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, who was chief guest at the seminar, said the seminar provided an opportunity for defence manufacturers from India in developing fruitful partnerships with them [in Bangladesh].

The seminar was held as a part of Indian efforts to export defence equipment to Bangladesh initially under a line of credit extended by India, officials said.

Senior military and civil officials participated in the seminar held two weeks before an official visit of Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and four weeks before an official visit of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

Shringla is scheduled to visit Dhaka on March 2 to set grounds for an official visit of the Indian prime minister scheduled for March 16 to 18.

Indian external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar requested Bangladesh to utilise a line of credit extended by India for purchasing military equipment, in a meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart AK Abdul Momen on August 20 in Dhaka.

‘They requested [us] to use the memorandum of understanding signed on $500 million line of credit extended by India [to Bangladesh] for defence purchase,’ Momen told journalists at his office after the meeting.

‘We are yet to buy anything under the defence MoU,’ Momen said, adding that the Armed Forces Division was working on the matter.

The MoU was signed during prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in April 2017 on the $500 million Indian loan for buying military equipment under suppliers credit system.