India, Bangladesh bilateral trade ties on revival path

January 29th, 2009 - 4:57 pm ICT by ANI  

By Pinaki Das
Agartala, Jan.29 (ANI): With a civilian government in Bangladesh in place, a ray of hope has emerged about a revival of bilateral business relations between India and Bangladesh.
On Tuesday, a 25-member business delegation from Bangladesh, led by Indo-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (IBCCI) President Abdul Mutlab Rahaman, arrived here through the Akhwara checkpost with the objective of strengthening trade relations between the two countries.
The Bangladesh team claimed there there is immense scope for investment in Tripura, particularly in sectors like horticulture, rubber, bamboo, tourism and other food products.
The Bangladesh team interacted with Tripura entrepreneurs and representatives of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in presence of Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Industries Minister Jitendra Choudhury to explore investment opportunities in the northeast.
The IBCCI and the Tripura Chamber of Commerce inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the presence of Tripura Industries Minister Jitendra Chowdhury.
The delegation hinted that all the non-tariff trade barriers would be sorted out within the next one year. Bangladesh investors are interested in launching joint venture with Tripura entrepreneurs.
The delegation also believed that with the changing political scenario in Bangladesh, the IBCCI would like to move forward to enhance bilateral trade.
It was informed that the matter of giving port transit to seven-sister States of India is under consideration of the Bangladesh government.
According to Ahmad, Bangladesh can benefit by allowing access to Tripura.
“Bangladesh will gain by giving access to use the connectivity from Bangladesh to Tripura. Therefore, from the Indian-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce we are working with our government to see that this access is given to the India industries in northeast. I am sure that we shall be able to formulate some policy whereby you will not only be able to bring regular cargo but also big turbine that is now stuck-up for trying to come into your area for the power project. I am sure with the positive indication that I find during this meeting, I am very hopeful that our relationship both business and political will be in a much better footing as we move around.”
Speaking about the issue of the use of Bangladesh territory by anti-India forces, Ahmad said: “Today, militancy is a universal problem and there is militancy in every country in one or other form, be it Thailand, Indonesia or any other country. So militancy should not be a deterrent to any investment rather it should be taken it as a challenge and see how best we can over come it and go for fast track of development.”
The delegation also informed that the present Bangladesh government is keen to address India Incorporated concerns.
“The new government in Bangladesh is trying its best to contain militancy and the business community has also given several proposal to the government in that matter, however, in the existing laws, it will be little problem to abolish militancy totally. Moreover, the terrain is another hindrance in that matter. But very soon the problem shall be solved through discussion,” said Mohammed Yakub, another investor from Bangladesh.
Yakub added, “Ninety per cent of the credit for liberation of Bangladesh goes to India.”
The delegation is going to formulate the investment promotion and protection agreement which will be necessary for investment flow from either side. (ANI)

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