Indian investment can help diversify Bangladesh export: Minister

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said Indian investment here can help diversify Bangladesh’s export basket which can help bring down the trade gap between the two countries, report agencies.

“With Bangladesh offering an exclusive economic zone for India, outbound investments from India to Bangladesh is bound to go up,” he said, adding that India can explore the possibilities of re-export of products to India, especially the northeastern India. 

The Industries Minister said there is a trade gap of Bangladesh amounting to US$ 9 billion in favour of India, and India has accorded Bangladesh the status of zero-tariff facilities for all but 25 tariff lines.

He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Bengal Business Conclave at Digha in West Bengal on Wednesday evening. The closing ceremony was held on Thursday.

The Industries Minister said Bangladesh is a unique place for investment and the government of Bangladesh is keen to expand the industrial base of the economy and encourages both domestic and foreign investment participation in the country.

“We’re giving more thrust on the establishment of knowledge based hi-tech industries,” he said adding that they have been pursuing a liberal investment and industrial policy for foreign investors with huge attractive incentive package.

Minister Majid said they are looking at Indian investment across multiple sectors like power, oil and gas, ICT and software, healthcare, financial services, higher education, energy and electrical equipment; electronics and industrial machinery, agro-products and food processing, telecommunication, pharmaceuticals, plastic, ceramic, automobile, light engineering, leather and leather products, jute and jute goods along with RMG.

“To support these sectors, our government is working on pro-industry infrastructure with all the utility services, including energy and power supply both for the local and foreign investors,” he said.      

The Industries Minister said Bangladesh attaches the highest importance to its relations with India in the spirit of good neighbourliness.

“We’re grateful to the people and the government of India for extending all-out support and cooperation during our Liberation War in 1971,” he said.

The Industries Minister said the Indian soldiers helped Bangladesh’s freedom fighters with logistics, training and armament and India was one of the first countries to recognise Bangladesh on December 6, 1971.