Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said that three more border haats, including one at Sajek border in Rangamati, will be set up to boost trade between Bangladesh and India.
At the same time, Mizoram is keen to increase the use of roads in Sajek and waterways in Rangamati to increase connectivity.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is scheduled to visit Bangladesh on March 26-27 is likely to inaugurate three more border haats during the visit.
Tipu Munshi came up with the information at a press briefing after a meeting with the Health, Education and Commerce Minister of Mizoram State of India at the Commerce Ministry on Sunday noon.
“Bangladesh and Mizoram have agreed to establish three border haats and they have already visited several factories of Bangladesh. We’ll try to visit Mizoram next month,” the Minister said.
Currently, several items like bamboo, segun timber, fruit and cement come from Mizoram, and Bangladesh export toiletries, garments, fruit juice, meat, fish, electronics, cooking oil, he said.
“The trade relations will be expanded further if we could increase the border connections,” Tipu said.
The Mizoram authorities stressed the need for building a bridge in Sajek.“They (India) will be able to use Chattogram port directly after building a bridge in Sajek, we’ll try to construct a bridge there,” Tipu said.
India-Bangladesh Border Haat is a weekly market organised by the two countries.
The markets are not only for buying essential commodities but also for facilitating the reunion of families divided by the border.
They aim to promote the wellbeing of people living in remote areas across the border by setting up markets to sell the local produce.
Bangladesh and India share 4,100 kilometres of border. The first of the Border Haats was inaugurated on July 23, 2011.
Currently, four Border Haats are operational. Two of them are located in Meghalaya at Kalaichar and Balat, and the others in Tripura at Srinagar and Kamalasagar.
All sorts of goods, including cloths, soap, spices, kids’ items, food, domestic cookeries, oil, plastic products, ceramics and cosmetics are available at the new Border Haats.
With inputs from UNB