CHATTOGRAM: The Indian envoy to Bangladesh has labelled the current ties between Dhaka and New Delhi as a “golden chapter” and it would be further strengthened in the coming days.
High Commissioner Riva Ganguly said the relationship between the two neighbouring countries reached to a new height under the guidance of the incumbent prime ministers.“We term it as a golden chapter and our prime minister also describes it the same way,” said the envoy.
“As both the government are new, we are looking forward to another five years of strengthening the existing ties further, she said. Ganguly was exchanging views with the port city’s business leaders at the Bangabandhu Conference Hall of the World Trade Centre. Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) organised the meeting and Ganguly was welcomed by its President Mahbubul Alam.
Ganguly, who was appointed as the Indian envoy recently, in her maiden meeting with the business leaders in Chattogram said there were many scopes for doing business together. “Bangladesh has done excellently well in the social and economic sectors. The GDP growth has been consistently high while Bangladesh also met all criteria to graduate from the LDC status,” the envoy said adding that India is also growing rapidly and was currently the sixth largest economy in the world.
She observed that the excellent bilateral relationship and the rapid economic growth in both the South Asain countries are also increasing the growth of commercial and trade relations between them.
The high commissioner informed that Bangladesh’s export to India has crossed $1 billion in the last fiscal year and the RMG sector has seen very substantive increase.
Laying emphasis on diversification of trade and an increase in number of products, she said there was tremendous potential for doing business with the Indian north-eastern states as connectivity, trade and business with Bangladesh was good.“A number of Indian companies have set up industries and other operations in Bangladesh. They are contributing to Bangladesh’s economy, generating employment and revenue for the government,” she said.
With operation at the Indian economic zones in Mongla and Mirsarai, the Indian investment is definitely expected to increase in Bangladesh, said Ganguly.
“With graduation of Bangladesh from LDC status, the current structures are going to change. We have actually proposed the comprehensive economic partnership agreement with Bangladesh and it is being worked out,” she said further.
Terming India as a committed development partner of Bangladesh, she said the country provided $8 billion of concessional financing which is the largest that India has given to any single country.
It is a demonstration that India attaches very high priority to its relation with Bangladesh, said the high commissioner.
Pointing at Chattogram’s importance, she said the regional hub having premier seaport really represents relations with India in all its dimensions, while it also plays a role for international cooperation and connectivity of this region.
CCCI President Mahbubul Alam emphasised the need for bridgeing the trade deficit against the import from the India.
He sought cooperation from the new high commissioner for removing the export barriers between the two countries.
“India can also be benefitted through single or joint investment at the Mirsarai economic zone utilising the different incentives offered by the Bangladesh government,” he said.
CCCI Vice President Syed Jamal Ahmed, Directors Anjan Shekhar Das, Director-elect SM Aby Tyub, Chattogram Customs Commissioner M Fakhrul Alam, Daily Purbokone Managing Editor Jasim Uddin Chowdhury, Suprobhat Bangladesh Editor Rusho Mahmud, BSRM Group Chairman Alihussain Akberali, Southern University Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Ali Ashraf, Indian Assistant High Commissioner to Chattogram Anindya Banerjee and First Secretary (Political) Nabanita Chakrabartya were present at the meeting among others.