SRIMANTAPUR: Tripura would be the gateway of India’s corridor with South-East Asia and play a remarkable role in improving relations with Bangladesh, Union Minister for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman said today.

She said this after inaugurating a multi-facility ‘Integrated Development Complex (IDC)’ here, about 60 km from State capital Agartala, to facilitate smooth passage of citizens of India and Bangladesh and improve border trade with the neighbouring nation.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accorded the highest importance to improve relations with the neighbouring countries and meaningful implementation of Act-East policy. This IDC was constructed with an eye to improve relations with Bangladesh,” she said.

“We believe that proper development of our country would not be possible without development of States. I would meet the Union Finance Minister next week to discuss about how the north eastern region could be developed further,”┬áSitharaman said.

For land-locked Tripura in particular and the North-East in general, access to Chittagong port, Bangladesh is necessary, she said.

“I would definitely take the matter (access to Chittagong port) with the Prime Minister, so that he could then take up the matter with Bangladesh,” she added.

“Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar also requested me to set up two more border haats in the State and completion of the bridge on river Feni for better communication with Chittagong. These two matters would figure in my discussion with the Prime Minister,” she said.

The foundation of the bridge on river Feni in Sabroom subdivision of South Tripura district was laid to facilitate border trade. Chittagong port is just 75 km from the bridge by surface transport.

The IDC here was built at a cost of Rs 16 crore on 2.83 acres of land bordering Comilla district of the neighbouring country, which is almost like an integrated checkpost having facilities like weigh bridge, warehouse, computerised immigration system, bank with currency exchange facility, among others, according to officials.

Manik Sarkar and Industries and Commerce Minister Tapan Chakraborty also spoke on the occasion.