New Delhi: If China was flexing its muscle through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-Pakistan economic corridor, India too seemed to have its diplomatic counter in place. 

Not only is the Modi government keen on the construction of the Akhaura-Agartala railway track with Bangladesh, a close ally of India, but also intends to replicate India's 'smart cities project' in the neighbouring country as well.

On Monday, both the countries warmed up to the idea that is widely seen as India's counter to China and it's growing influence.

Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das visited the Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Monday and expressed her country’s keen interest to invest more in Bangladesh’s various sectors including in power, energy and in LNG.

During the meeting, they discussed various issues related to bilateral interests including the construction of the Akhaura-Agartala railway track as well as improvement of the bilateral relations.

The Indian High Commissioner suggested that Bangladesh can develop smart cities replicating the smart cities in India.

In response, the Finance Minister said, “We've plenty of opportunities and places for building smart cities. If India is interested, then we’re ready to develop the smart cities keeping India as our development partner.”

Terming Bangladesh as one of India’s important friendly countries, Riva Ganguly said cooperation on various bilateral issues between these two neighbouring countries would continue in the coming days.

Noting that boosting regional connectivity would bring economic prosperity in this region, she said that there has been a significant development in roads and railways communication between Bangladesh and India.

The Indian envoy also lauded the project management system in Bangladesh.

Terming the country’s relations with India as historic, the Bangladesh Finance Minister said Bangladesh attaches the highest importance on its relations with India.

Kamal said after the 1st and 2nd Indian Line of Credit, Bangladesh is implementing 17 priority projects in various sectors like power, railways, roads, shipping, port infrastructures with $4.5 billion 3rd line of credit from India

He also said due to the strategic geographical location of Bangladesh, the country has turned into a place for regional connectivity, foreign direct investment and global outsourcing.

The Finance Minister said Bangladesh is now enjoying demographic dividend and it would enjoy such facility till 2061.

He also suggested that India could invest in Bangladesh’s education sector, assist in the procurement process of the Electronic Fiscal Devices at the NBR as well as automation of the NBR, banking sector and fuel storage center.