Dhaka, Delhi move for closer economic tiesJuly 15th, 2010 - 1:23 pm ICT by IANS
Dhaka/Sylhet, July 15 (IANS) Businessmen from Bangladesh and India have agreed on joint measures to promote closer economic ties that are mutually beneficial and curb illegal trade by focusing on India’s northeastern region.
A joint declaration by visiting Indian businessmen and local businessmen Wednesday expressed commitment to boost economic ties within the sub-region and resolved to “make for the lost opportunities”.
Indian parliamentarian and former minister Mani Shankar Aiyar led a delegation of businessmen from Kolkata and the Northeastern Chamber of Commerce to Dhaka.
The joint declaration said the immediate Indian neighbourhood constituted the natural economic hinterland of Bangladesh and vice versa.
Both the sides agreed to recover the lost opportunities with a view to re-establishing the economic integrity of this region, keeping up with the vision expressed by the two prime ministers in their joint statement issued in New Delhi in January 2010.
The businessmen met in Dhaka after a visit to Chittagong to assess the working of the port that Bangladesh wants to open up to the South Asian neighbours like Bhutan and Nepal.
Aiyar told reporters that only 25 percent of the existing Chittagong port facilities was being utilised. The Chittagong port has a huge potential to emerge as the “Singapore of Bay of Bengal”, he said.
India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce president Abdul Matlub Ahmed said the Indian delegation was advised to invest in the areas of river dredging, road building and railway for movement of smooth traffic between the countries in the region.
In the northeastern Bangladesh city of Sylhet, Bangladesh Commerce Minister Faruk Khan announced that Bangladesh will facilitate setting up of markets along the border with India in the next two months.
He had set the time table for April 14, but could not meet the deadline, New Age newspaper said Thursday.
‘Haat’ or the market manned by local traders and businessmen, also farmers selling their produce directly from the fields, is a regular feature of the economies of Bangladesh and eastern India.
Markets along the border are aimed at providing access to goods to rural population and curb smuggling that is rampant.
“Trade relationship between Bangladesh and India will be expanded and friendship among the people of the countries will also be enhanced after the border markets start operation,” Faruk Khan said while inaugurating the 12th Sylhet International Trade Fair.
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Tags: asian neighbours, bay of bengal, chittagong port, commerce minister, commerce president, dhaka, economic ties, faruk, haat, illegal trade, indian businessmen, indian delegation, local traders, mani shankar aiyar, northeastern bangladesh, northeastern region, parliamentarian, smooth traffic, sylhet bangladesh, time table