'B'desh working on dismantling non-tariff barriers with India'
NEW DELH: Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali said on Wednesday India and Bangladesh were working on dismantling the Non-Tariff and Para-Tariff Barriers.
He was speaking at a seminar - "Bangladesh's Graduation from LDC: New Frontiers and Horizons for India-Bangladesh Economic Engagement", jointly organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
Bangladesh has recently graduated from "Least Development Category" of the United Nations Committee for Development Policy.
Muazzem Ali said India and Bangladesh could renew economic engagements in the light of Bangladesh's graduation from LDC and India's emergence as a global power with strong economic growth.
"We seek substantial investment from Indian investors in three special economic zones of Mongla, Bheramara and Mirsarai in Bangladesh to broaden our exportable base," he said and added "We could engage in a series of 'buy-back' projects similar to those between USA and Canada."
He said Bangladesh-India bilateral ties could also act as a catalyst for strengthening regional and sub-regional cooperation and integration, adding "both the countries are working on strengthening the sub-regional cooperation under the BBIN initiative as well as inter-regional cooperation under the aegis of BIMSTEC and ASEAN."
Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs), Prime Minister's Office, Bangladesh in his presentation said the way forward for Bangladesh following its graduation from LDC would be to increase investment in human development, overcome infrastructure gap, invest in quality education and research, adopt innovation and digitalization, enhance north-south, south-south, triangular cooperation and diversify export.
Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Senior Vice President, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said, "To make successful transition Bangladesh needs to explore strategic joint venture investments in high-value sectors, focus on innovation and research, blue economy and multimodal connectivity."
Dr. Ram Upendra Das, Head & Professor, Centre for Regional Trade, Department of Commerce, Govt. of India said "South Asian economic integration has not moved at the pace it could have. It is high time we adopt an integrated approach to trade in goods, services, and investments so as not to miss out on the synergies between the three."
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Bangladesh, said, "India and Bangladesh should increase cooperation in research, comprehensively work on inclusive development and climate change while working on ensuring peace in the region."
Dr. Pritam Banerjee, Senior Director, South Asia Corporate Public Policy, DHL Group said challenges in the eastern part of India are not much different from those in Bangladesh. It is in the interest of both the nations to work on improving connectivity.
Manish Singhal, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI, said that a thriving well-connected and an integrated neighbourhood is indispensable for economic growth, "the classification of Bangladesh as a developing country would certainly leapfrog the existing bilateral engagement between India and Bangladesh," he added.