NE focal point of trade, commerce: Bangla
GUWAHATI, Nov 12 – The Industry Minister of Bangladesh Dilip Barua has underscored the need for increasing cross-border trade between Bangladesh and North-East India.
“North-East India is a focal point for trade and commerce for Bangladesh and therefore several Bangladeshi companies are planning to invest in the region,” Barua said on the sidelines of the ‘BIMSTEC 2010 Summit’ in Guwahati today.
He, however, said that to carry this forward the existing infrastructure and connectivity should be improved. “We are also planning to include more items in the list of trade which have very good demand in the North East market. Moreover, Bangladesh has already allowed India to access its Chittagong Port that will further boost bilateral trade between the two countries,” he added.
Pitching for more expansive trade with North East India, the Industry Minister revealed that his government had already taken a number of steps to upgrade the road connectivity with the North East. “Infrastructure and connectivity are the key areas which need to be addressed immediately to get desired results in the field of trade. Bangladesh and India have signed pact on border haats which will be made operational within the six months,” Barua added.
The current value of Indo-Bangladesh trade is $3 billion. The flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) from India to Bangladesh up to June 2010 was $ 494.69 million. The Indian government has sanctioned Rs 12.50 crore to improve the land customs points along the border.
Providing feedback on the bilateral trade, Barua said that leading Indian companies are keen on investing in the field of IT, apparel, pharmaceutical and infrastructure sectors in Bangladesh which is a good sign as far as bilateral relation is concerned.
The summit, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), is aimed at promoting tourism, trade and investment among the BIMSTEC countries.
Earlier, participating in the summit, Suresh K Reddy, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, stressed on increasing cross-border trade among the BIMSTEC nations. He said that BIMSTEC countries should upgrade connectivity and infrastructure to boost trade.
Later, Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for sharing information about trade and economic development between India and Bangladesh.
Source: The Assam Tribune