• Out of all of India’s neighbours, the Indian government has invited only Bangladesh as one of 10 guest countries during its presidency of the G-20 beginning on December 1.
  • Ties are likely to strengthen as a result of the invitation, which comes amid a number of energy and connectivity projects between the two countries, says Bangladesh’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam, who speaks about plans to source energy needs from Russia, for the first time, and a possible strain in ties with the West.

What are the issues you would like to see on the G-20 agenda next year?

  • We are grateful to India for inviting Bangladesh. The invitation also shows the growing importance of Bangladesh as one of the world’s fastest growing economies — already the 41st largest economy, which is going to be the 32nd largest by 2030.
  • Bangladesh would like to share its experience with other member states on climate change. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have identified poverty as the most common enemy.
  • During Ms. Hasina’s visit in September, India and Bangladesh agreed to a number of energy projects, including a high-speed-diesel pipeline. What is the progress in these agreements?
  • The pipeline is one of them. The other major one is the Rooppur nuclear power plant that we are setting up with the help of Russian technology and funding.
  • India is funding under an LOC (Line of Credit) the distribution, the transmission lines, alongside Bangladesh’s own funding. The Adani electricity plant [in Jharkhand] is ready for integration on December 16, and during this time of power shortage or energy shortages in the oil market, that will surely help.
  • We are also working with India on proposals for renewable energy, bringing solar energy from the Indian grid.
  • When the [Ukraine] war broke out, [and sanctions began] Russian energy sounded like a very cheap option, and India has made very good use of that. So we explored [importing Russian oil] but unfortunately, Bangladesh has just one large refinery, and that is not suitable for Russian crude. So that’s not going to happen. What we are discussing with the Russians now is the supply of refined products, and Russian LNG.
  • Energy and food are considered to be essential commodities that a nation is entitled to procure in its interests.


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