Bangladeshi businessmen urge Dhaka to provide transit facilities to India

January 30th, 2009 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Jan 30 (IANS) Bangladeshi trade and industry bodies Friday urged Dhaka to provide transit facilities to India and develop border infrastructure to increase trade and economic activities with the northeast.”If Bangladesh government provides transit facilities to India and allows Chittagong and other ports to ferry essential and heavy cargo between northeastern states and rest of India via Bangladesh, the latter would be benefited in terms of revenue and other ways,” said Abdul Matlub Ahmad, president of the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI).

India has been pressing for transit facilities through Bangladesh for better connectivity of its northeastern region with the rest of the country.

A 21-member Bangladeshi delegation headed by Ahmad and comprising leading functionaries of IBCCI, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) held a series of meetings here over the past three days with leaders of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to chalk out strategies for setting up of joint venture projects.

The Tripura government has set up a seven-member task force comprising representatives of the Indian government, and trade bodies of India and Bangladesh to suggest ways and means to enhance economic activities, including trade and investment between northeast India and Bangladesh.

“During these meetings, it was decided to increase the export-import business between the northeast region and Bangladesh by three times from the current volume within 2010,” said M.S. Shekil Chowdhury, senior DCCI vice-president.

A trade and business delegation from India will visit Bangladesh next month, while another from that country will visit the northeast in March.

“During the Bangladesh visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in February, outstanding trade and business-related issues are expected to be sorted out,” FBCCI’s Obaidur Rahman told newsmen.

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