Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated a bridge connecting India with Bangladesh.
"This connectivity has not only strengthened the friendship between India and Bangladesh but also proves to be a strong link of business too," Modi said, while opening the bridge via video conferencing.
"The entire region is being developed as a trade corridor between northeast India and Bangladesh," he added.
The bridge was built on the Feni river, which flows between India's northeastern border state of Tripura and Bangladesh.
Maitri Setu (Friendship Bridge) symbolises growing bilateral relations and friendly ties, said an official statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
The 1.9-kilometre bridge joins Sabroom town in India with Ramgarh town in Bangladesh. The opening of the bridge will lead to a new era of trade and people-to-people movements between the two countries, it added.
With this inauguration, Tripura is set to become the "gateway of northeast" with access to Bangladesh's Chittagong port, which is just 80 km from Sabroom, the statement said.
Modi emphasised that the rail and water connectivity projects that have been realised in recent years have been strengthened by this bridge. "This will improve the connectivity of south Assam, Mizoram, and Manipur along with Tripura with Bangladesh and Southeast Asia," he said.
Efforts are under way to connect the Chittagong port with northeast India through an alternative river route, he said, adding that the integrated checkpoint in Sabroom will work as a full-fledged logistic hub with warehouses and container trans-shipment facilities.