Experts say India, Bangladesh need to diversify trade with active industry participation

January 30th, 2009 - 7:18 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Jan.30 (ANI): Largely insulated from the global financial meltdown, both the nations should come together to strengthen their economies.
The newly elected Bangladesh Government holds India as a strategic partner in its development endeavour. Trade between India and Bangladesh is yet to achieve desirable volumes. Towards achieving advantageous trade figures, both the nations need to diversify trade with active industry participation. Both the nations have to decouple politics and trade, said Rajeev Kher, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
He was speaking at the Round Table on India Bangladesh Trade & Economic Cooperation organised today by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The forum saw discussion on Bangladeshs textiles sector which is highly integrated with demands from USA and European Nations. The experts also highlighted that as both India and Bangladesh are largely insulated from the global financial meltdown, both the nations should come together to strengthen their economies.
Kher further pointed out that the Bangladeshi Government wishes India to extend help in improving the railways network. Bangladeshs Power and Energy sectors also need Indias assistance. India as a larger responsible neighbour should proactively develop a sub-regional approach in taking along Bangladesh towards progress.
The session Chairman, Ambassador Deb Mukharji, Former High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh, suggested that Indian industry should actively involve itself in Bangladesh’’s Development Process.
Highlighting need for trade moderating exercises between India and Bangladesh, which at present amounts to two billion dollars worth of exports from Bangladesh as against 200-300 million dollars worth of goods traded from India to Bangladesh, Dr. Nagesh Kumar, Director General, RIS, stated the need for better transit infrastructure across India and Bangladesh.
He said, Indian enterprises can look out for developing export capabilities in Bangladesh. The interested corporations should avail location advantage by operating out of Exports Promotion Zones (EPZs), with an added advantage of marketing 10 percent of the produce in Bangladesh.
Shyamal Ghosh, Executive Director, Sun Pharmaceutical (Bangladesh) Ltd., said, trade between the two countries has been augmented with lifting of ban on Bangladesh investments in India. Many Bangladesh based corporations are now looking out for avenues of investment in North-Eastern India. Similarly, Bangladesh can be targeted by Indian entities to develop manufacturing hub, as the region apart from providing EPZ setup offers cheap high quality manpower and energy.
Debashish Neogi, Executive Director and Country Head, Marico Bangladesh Ltd. said, the trade imbalances between India and Bangladesh will remain given size of the two nations. This imbalance however should be minimised by Indian companies investing in Bangladesh, and by identifying newer areas of commerce exchanges. (ANI)

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