Effective and fast-track implementation of decisions taken by the governments of India and Bangladesh has resulted in enhancement of trade and investment between the two nations, said Former Ambassador of India to Bangladesh, Veena Sikri. Adressing a seminar organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here on Saturday, Sikri, in context to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, said India and Bangladesh share a long border and the areas surrounding the borders should be developed as zones of prosperity.
“The issue of connectivity is vital and businesses on the two sides should take advantage of the increased connectivity. Besides, financial connectivity and knowledge connectivity needs to be strengthened. IT must be leveraged to create new ties and enhance the existing systems,” said Sikri.
The seminar, titled ‘Doing Business with Bangladesh’ was organised in lieu of the visit of Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, which was followed by B2B meetings with the high-powered Bangladeshi business delegation accompanying the Prime Minister.
The delegation comprised businessmen representing various sectors such as automobiles, cement, insurance and banking, readymade garments, shipping, IT and ITes, food and beverages, jute, power, renewable energy, real estate, electronic and print media, packaging, poultry, education, health and pharma, chemicals and telecommunication.
Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), who is leading the business delegation from Bangladesh, said that country was on a sound economic footing with foreign exchange reserves of USD 32 billion.
“The Government of Bangladesh will retain USD 25 billion and release the rest for investments overseas, with India emerging as a favored destination,” he said.
“India and Bangladesh needed to take bilateral relations to the next level and work in tandem for creation of employment,” added Subhrakant Panda, Senior Committee Member, FICCI and Managing Director, Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys Ltd.