Experts at a seminar on Thursday pointed out that better connectivity between India and Bangladesh would help significantly to further boost the bi-lateral trade between the two countries. The seminar on “Improved Connectivity: Unlocking Economic Potential between India and Bangladesh” jointly organized by High Commission of India in Bangladesh and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) was held at Le Meridien Hotel, Dhaka.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Economic Affairs, Government of Bangladesh Dr. Mashiur Rahman was present as the Chief Guest.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Economic Affairs, Government of Bangladesh Dr. Mashiur Rahman said in terms of export and import we may think using local currencies for our bilateral trade.
Mentioning that the investment environment in Bangladesh is very friendly, Dr. Mashiur invited more Indian companies to invest here in Bangladesh either in the form of joint ventures. "In terms of railway connectivity, few development projects like construction of Jamuna railway bridge is under progress which will create an ample opportunities for bilateral trade", Mashiur added.
He also requested to consider the issue of anti-dumping duty on raw jute export from Bangladesh.
DCCI President Barrister 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 also referred World Bank’s report that seamless transport connectivity of India and Bangladesh has the potential to increase national income by 17% in Bangladesh and 8% in India. High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh Pranay Verma said smooth connectivity is crucial for boosting trade and commerce between our two countries. He added that land routes, railways and even waterways between Bangladesh and India can be expanded more.
During the last decade, the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India remarkably increased and he opined that 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 noted.
Officials from the Indian High Commission made the presentation on connectivity initiatives between India and Bangladesh. The presentation highlighted that 40% trade is happening through land ports of which 70% is happening through Benapol-Petrapol land port.
Farooq Sobhan, Former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, Anis Ud-Dowlah, former President, MCCI, DCCI’s former Presidents Matiur Rahman, Asif Ibrahim, Md. Sabur Khan, Shams Mahmud, DCCI Directors Khairul Majid Mahmud, Malik Talha Ismail Bari also spoke on the occasion.