India-Bangladesh: Investment boosting MoU on the anvil


Promising sectors: Energy, Transport and Logistics

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI) will be signing an MoU to further deepen the two countries’ bilateral economic relationship, as a call went out to the private sector to further boost investments.

FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Islam shared this at the Digital Conference on ‘Doing Business with Bangladesh: Opportunities and Challenges’ organized by CII on 29 June 2020.

There is potential for joint R&D initiatives in the technologies of the future especially in the context of the COVID 19 crisis where ‘new manufacturing’ is becoming increasingly important.

CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee added “there is much that the private sectors of our two countries can do together. Indian Industry would like to further boost its investments in Bangladesh.”

He pointed out that the SAARC Fund promotes cooperation on a G2G basis.

“There is a mutual desire to further strengthen the relationship in areas that will help bring benefits to people on the two sides,” observed V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs.

Since 2014, there have been major developments in the bilateral relationship, including the ratified the land boundary agreement, settled maritime boundary and signed agreements on connectivity.

India has increased assistance to Bangladesh, making it the largest recipient of concessional aid, implemented an agreement to supply 1,076 MW of power to Bangladesh, and implemented more than 40 projects in areas such as sanitation, waste management, restoration, health, etc. under grant-in-aid.

The Minister further said that he was certain that cooperation between our two nations can help overcome the economic effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

P Harish, Additional Secretary (ER), Ministry of External Affairs, emphasized facilitating mutual investments between the two countries and creating value chains in various sectors including textiles, leather, footwear and food processing among others.

Muhammad Imran, Bangladesh High Commissioner to India, mentioned that the India Bangladesh bilateral relationship today touches almost every aspect of activity including political, trade, investment, security, border, water management, power and cultural exchanges among others.

He said that in the current COVID context, it is more imperative that the two countries complement and cooperate to bring great benefit to both countries in areas where they have a competitive advantage.

“The geographical proximity and road and river water port connectivity between the two countries provide us many opportunities which we can leverage, added Riva Ganguly Das, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh.

She mentioned that turning the COVID crisis into an opportunity, the Indian and Bangladesh railways have worked together to ensure the smooth flow of goods through the railway links that exist between the two countries.

The envoy noted that Bangladesh railways had increased its monthly allocation of freight trains to Indian railways by approximately thirty-three percent for the month of June which was very positive.

Energy, Transport and Logistics were emerging as promising sectors between India Bangladesh economic cooperation, elaborated Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA)

Bangladesh has made a number of reforms in various areas for business facilitation in starting a business, construction permit, electricity, registering property and trading across borders, he said.

David Rasquinha, MD, EXIM Bank of India, pointed out that India was the top supplier of vehicles other than railways and pharmaceuticals, the second largest supplier of cotton and a major exporter in other sectors such as organic chemicals, iron and steel, heavy machinery, etc.

The trade and economic relations between the two countries have been growing rapidly over the last few years, added Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President, India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IBCCI).


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