DHAKA (AFP) - Energy-hungry Bangladesh will begin importing power from India by late 2012 after the two countries signed a landmark electricity transmission deal, an energy official said Tuesday. India will export up to 500 megawatts under the 35-year deal signed by the state-run power companies of both nations, the head of Bangladeshs Power Development Board, Alamgir Kabir, told AFP. Its a landmark deal as far as we are concerned. It will help ensure energy security for our country and ease the acute power crisis, he said. Bangladesh has long suffered severe power outages because of demands from its fast-growing economy. The power shortfall is especially acute in the hot summer months from April to October. Years of under-investment mean Bangladeshs power plants generate around 4,000 megawatts of electricity a day, while demand totals 6,000 megawatts - a figure growing by 500 megawatts a year due to rapid industrialisation. Just 40 percent of Bangladeshs 146 million people have power while peak-time shortages force some factories including in the countrys key garment sector to halt production. India also suffers from a chronic lack of electricity, depriving tens of millions power in rural areas, though the country has ambitious plans to increase generating capacity. In February, Dhaka also signed a 1.7 billion dollar agreement with Indias state-run National Thermal Power Corp to build two coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 1,320 megawatts in southern Bangladesh. The deals highlight Dhakas improving ties with New Delhi under its new secular government led by Sheikh Hasinas Awami League party, analysts say.