Better connectivity between Dhaka, Delhi to boost bilateral trade17 March 2023
Staff Reporter :
Speakers at a seminar of Thursday said that better connectivity between Bangladesh and India is sought in order to boost bilateral trade.
The seminar on "Improved Connectivity: Unlocking Economic Potential between India and Bangladesh" organized jointly by the High Commission of India in Bangladesh and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) held at Le Meridien Hotel in Dhaka.
Speaking at the event, Dr Mashiur Rahman, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Economic Affairs, said, "In terms of export and import, we may think using local currencies for our bilateral trade". Currently, the investment environment in Bangladesh is very friendly therefore he invited more Indian companies to invest here in Bangladesh either in the form of joint ventures, he said.
He also requested to consider the issue of anti-dumping duty on raw jute export from Bangladesh and underscored the importance of seamless transshipment of Bangladeshi products through India.
Easy visa process is needed for smooth communication of businessmen of both countries, he added.
DCCI President Md Sameer Sattar said that the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India is $16 billion in FY2022.
"But there are scopes to expand the bilateral trade to minimum $20 billion through addressing non-tariff barriers and connectivity related challenges," he added.
He also referred World Bank's report that seamless transport connectivity of India and Bangladesh has the potential to increase national income by 17 per cent in Bangladesh and 8 per cent in India.
Connectivity improvement between the North Eastern Region of India and Bangladesh is essential to support the regional market needs and improve our trade with India, he said.
H E Pranay Verma, Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh, said that smooth connectivity is crucial for boosting trade and commerce between the two countries and land routes, railways and even waterways can be expanded more.
"Comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) could be a game changer for both the countries in terms of trade and commerce. Stronger connectivity is the driving force for economic prosperity," he opined.
Former foreign secretary Farooq Sobhan, former MCCI president Anis Ud-Dowlah, DCCI's former presidents Matiur Rahman, Asif Ibrahim, Md Sabur Khan, Shams Mahmud and DCCI Directors Khairul Majid Mahmud, Malik Talha Ismail Bari also spoke on the occasion.