Dipu Moni pushes for early Teesta deal

India wants to export goods to northeast through Bangladeshi territory

India is diverting Tista River total flow at Gazaldoba Barrage. (Google Earth 22.02.2011).
UNB, Dhaka

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on Tuesday pushed India for the conclusion of an agreement for Teesta water sharing and ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement 1974 and its Protocol signed in 2011 at an early date to enable the two sides to move ahead on other areas of possible cooperation.

The issues came up for discussions when a high-profile business delegation, led by Indian Commerce Secretary SR Rao, met the foreign minister at her office in the afternoon.

Dipu Moni, during the meeting, said there are multiple sectors that the Indian private entrepreneurs could explore for investing or setting up joint venture companies to boost bilateral trade ensuring mutual benefits.

“Bangladesh is following a very liberal policy on foreign investment and will welcome Indian investors in Bangladesh,” she said.

Dipu Moni said Bangladesh and India, enjoying excellent bilateral relations, now need to work on trade facilitation measures to ensure a win-win situation which would contribute to the economic development of both the countries.

She urged the delegation to remove para-tariff and non-tariff barriers towards reducing the huge trade imbalance between Bangladesh and India.

Dipu Moni expressed her satisfaction that the Indian government has taken initiatives to upgrade selected Land Customs Stations along the Bangladesh-India border.

The high-powered delegates represented by President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) RV Kanoria, Vice Chairman, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council and CEO, State Bank of India Chairman, Ion Exchange Ltd .

The delegation is visiting Bangladesh to attend the first-ever India Show being held in the city.

The show, themed ‘Partnership for Progress’, aims to showcase the best of India in the 21st century and bring together the business communities of both the countries.

The foreign minister welcomed the delegation to Bangladesh and expressed her happiness that one of the apex chambers of India, Ficci has come to Bangladesh to attend the India Show, aiming to explore business opportunities by Indian entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.

She hoped that this visit would add substance and momentum to the robust trade and commercial relations between the two countries which were given new impetus and direction during the exchange of visits between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Dr Manohan Singh in January 2010 and September 2011.

The foreign minister appreciated the Prime Minister of India for providing duty-free access to 46 textile items from Bangladesh to the

Indian market which has helped create a tremendous pool of goodwill among the business community in Bangladesh.

She stressed that India, as a big neighbour and emerging economic power, may encourage more exports from Bangladesh and to this effect, and urged the business delegates from India to play a productive and helpful role.

SR Rao, the leader of delegation, said they are having a very fruitful visit to Bangladesh and said that trade between the countries is far below the potentials.

He requested the foreign minister to allow Bangladesh territory to export Indian goods to northeastern Indian states.

Rao emphasised that multimodal transport, especially waterways and railways, might play a crucial role in promoting the trade volume between the countries.

He observed that they would boost Bangladesh export to India, especially northeastern states.

Source: The Daily Star

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