‘BBIN countries could benefit from Ctg port’

Indian High Commissioner Vikram Kumar Doraiswami said the BBIN countries could reap benefit from the use of Chittagong port.

“The use of Chittagong port could benefit the north-eastern states of India as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal,” he said.

The Indian envoy made the remarks at a views-exchange meeting with Chittagong Chamber leaders, businessmen and civil society at the Bangabandhu Conference Hall of the World Trade Center on Sunday.

Doraiswami said Bangladesh is emerging as a larger economy while Chattogram is considered as the gateway for the market of 250 crore people living in this region.

Trade, maritime and manufacturing sectors are prominent in Chattogram. Regional and global development depends on strong ties with neighbors. Therefore, friendship must be made sustainable through mutual cooperation in services, production, etc., he added.

Doraiswami emphasised the need to formulate long and short-term development plans. There were many opportunities to work in the areas of logistics, ports, infrastructure, communications and manufacturing, he added.

He said there is potential for value addition in the areas of training of business executives, food processing, light engineering, etc.

Besides, bilateral initiatives will be effective in setting up construction equipment, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and API parks, he added.

Doraiswami said India is interested in developing infrastructure including financing at Patenga Container Terminal (PCT), Bay Terminal in Chittagong.

There was a need to increase inland container depot, warehouse construction, railway development and land port facilities at the border.

Presided over Chamber President Mahbubul Alam, Chamber Directors SM Abu Tayab, Anjan Shekhar Das, Syed Mohammad Tanvir, Former 

Director Mahfuzul Haque Shah, BSRM MD Amir Ali Hussain, Senior Vice President of Women's Chamber Abida Mostafa, Dr Munal Mahbub, Base Textile Limited Vice Chairman Eng. Monwar Shahadat (Shovon), Green Grain Group MD Shakil Ahmed Tanvir, Capital Petroleum Limited MD Rashiq Mahmood, Marks Bangladesh Limited Tanim Shahriar addressed the meeting.

Thanking India for its cooperation during the 1971 Liberation War, Mahbubul Alam highlighted the historical context of Bangladesh-India bilateral relations.

He proposed the formation of a special task force comprising concerned ministries, ambassadors and business leaders to formulate a 10-year development plan based on mutual cooperation to harness the potential of both the countries.

Chamber President proposed to facilitate the transportation of goods by sea and inland waterways, development of rail transport system by railways, simplification and development of land ports, speedy unloading of goods, digitalization of land ports through electronic data exchange, covid-19 vaccination Organizing conferences, jointly setting up laboratories or testing centers to reduce trade deficit.

He thinks it is possible to increase communication between the people of both the countries through religious tourism.

SM Abu Tayab said that in order to establish direct communication between the people of the two countries and increase trade.

He proposed to organize 'trade shows' with products of both the countries at different places in India and Bangladesh.

Mohammad Tanvir said he emphasized the need to introduce alternative dispute resolution system or ADR in the business sector and called for a joint venture with the Bangladesh Center of Excellence, a special initiative of the chamber, to take over the business executive development program.

Indian Assistant High Commissioner to Chittagong Anindya Banerjee, Ambassador's wife Sangeeta Doraiswami, Second Secretary of Embassy Dipti Alanghat, Chamber Director Md. Abdul Mannan Sohel, Md. Sarwar Hossain, Lub-Ref Managing Director Md. Salauddin Yusuf, Bangladesh Bank Chittagong Executive Director Mohammad Ahmed Ali, Export Development Bureau Director Altaf Hossain Bhuiyan, BSTI Chittagong Director Engineer Md. Selim Reza were present at the meeting.