In September this year Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, during the former’s visit to Dhaka, decided to pursue the `Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt’ or BIG-B, an initiative to boost industrial agglomeration along the Dhaka-Chittagong Cox’s Bazaar area by developing infrastructure, improving investment environment and fostering connectivity between the two countries.
Having learnt about BIG-B during his last week’s visit to Japan, Naidu wants the project to reach the shores of Andhra Pradesh. “ After all, with a length of over 1,000 km, AP has the longest coastline in the east coast of India, and would stand to benefit immensely if it associates itself with the Bay of Bengal industrial corridor,“ the AP CM is said to have concluded. Wasting no time, Naidu has decided to pursue AP’s link-up with BIG-B at the highest level. According to sources , he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and minister of state for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi on December 7 to lobby for India taking up AP’s inclusion in the BIG-B project.
For more details on Japan -Bangladesh BIG-B, please have a look at the speech of Dr. Akihiko Tanaka, JICA President, titled “BIG-B toward Growth beyond Borders” at the University of Dhaka on June 16, 2014. This was posted on JICA (Japan international co-operation agency) website.
“Industry and trade, energy and transportation, the three elements of BIG-B, are exactly what Naidu wants to concentrate on. So, extension of BIG-B to Andhra Pradesh will make the Bay of Bengal a strategic region as far as Indo-Japanese relations are concerned,“ a senior AP government official said. AP is seeking Japan’s involvement in the development of the new capital, infrastructure, energy , transportation, ports, smart cities etc. “Extending the area to AP which has a master plan to develop a string of ports along its 1000 km-long coast along with industrial and petrochemical corridors will further push the boundaries of BIG-B to the benefit of all nations around the big bay . And it will have the potential to influence the global economy ,“ the official added.