New Delhi Correspondent
Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali has urged the Indian companies to make mega investment in Bangladesh, including buy-back projects, taking advantage of its impressive economic growth.
“The most practical cause of action would be to set up a series of “buy-back” projects where Indian investors will set up industries in Bangladesh and re-export to India and some other neighbouring countries,” the high commissioner told a seminar in Kolkata on Monday to celebrate Bangladesh’s graduation from LDC.
The seminar was jointly organised by Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata and Merchants Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
Syed Muazzem Ali suggested agro processing, automobiles, ceramics, chemicals, gems and jewellery, light engineering, ICT, hospital and medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, plastics, professional services, tourism and textiles (including home textile) as areas for joint projects by entrepreneurs of India and Bangladesh.
He counselled the Indian businesses to take advantage of Bangladesh’s competent labour costs and closer proximity to North-East Indian markets. He mentioned that several Indian mega companies like Hero-Honda, Tata group and CEAT tire companies have already set up such projects in Bangladesh.
“However, these are small projects. What we need is much bigger investments. If we could engage in bigger projects, this will also ensure the stability of our relationship,” Ali said.
Expressing satisfaction at Bangladesh’s graduation from LDC, Muazzem Ali said “This achievement partly fulfils the dream of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Father of our Nation, to transform Bangladesh into Sonar Bangla”.
“This has been possible largely due to the dynamic and visionary leadership of his daughter, our able Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said.
He said that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has done “wonders” in recent years since her assumption of power in 2009 for the second time. Bangladesh has seen a steadily upward run in almost every sector of governance, economy, politics and social uplift, he informed. Today Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a record 7.28 percent GDP growth.
“Our growth rate is expected to reach 7.65 percent in the current fiscal. The country, which once was ridiculed as ‘bottomless basket’, is now globally considered as a ‘development-miracle’; Bangladesh’s socio-economic achievement is a global role-model,” the freedom fighter-turned-diplomat said.
The seminar was also addressed by Dr Jamaluddin Ahmed, general secretary of Bangladesh Economic Association, Ramesh Agarwal, president of MCCI and Sheikh Fazle Fahim, senior vice-president of FBCCI.
A similar seminar, jointly organised by the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), was held in New Delhi last month.