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Bangladesh keen to open consulate in NE
Correspondent SHILLONG, APR 7:
Published on 8 Apr. 2009 12:52 AM IST
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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has agreed to consider opening of a consulate in Guwahati or Shillong to boost bilateral trade with India. Hasina responded positively to the suggestion of Indian delegation, led by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to open a consulate office in view of strategic location of Bangladesh in relation to Northeast India to facilitate several specific local issues including visa. “The Bangladesh government has agreed to consider and resolve all connectivity issues between Northeast & East of India and Bangladesh and called for stronger economic relationship between the two countries,” ICC member Arijit Sarmah said. The Indian delegation, headed by ICC president Sanjay Budhia, while meeting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Monday, expressed willingness to set up an SEZ there. For this, it has sought a suitable 150 acre plot in that country, wherein it may attract Indian investments worth $5 billion, suggested the chamber. Direct Investment from India would help Bangladesh in reducing import and also target specific exports to third countries. Massive investment from India will create surplus capacity which will not only improve availability of manufactured goods and basket of goods for re-exports to India but will create capacity for the market of Bangladesh. Urging Bangladesh for opening of border trade at additional points along the North East India-Bangladesh border and including setting up of border haats, particularly through Tripura, Barak Valley in Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram, the ICC members said there is a lot of scope for further improving Indo-Bangla bilateral economic relations, and there would have to be concerted long-term efforts.

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