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Bangladesh keen to increase trade with northeast India
Published on 12 Jan. 2010 11:50 PM IST
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The Bangladesh government is keen to increase trade, business and connectivity with northeast India, officials said here on Tuesday quoting visiting Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina. The Bangladeshi government said it is willing to open Chittagong Port. “Chief ministers of northeastern states have also pleaded for more connectivity and trade between the northeastern states and Bangladesh,” an official said. The chief ministers of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya attended the state banquet hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in honour of his Bangladesh counterpart at New Delhi Monday night. The official quoting deliberations between the three chief ministers and Hasina said: “The Bangladesh prime minister told them that her country is ready to increase trade and connectivity with the northeastern states, especially Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya. “The Bangladesh premier has also invited the northeastern chief ministers to visit her country and finalise the modalities to further increase trade and connectivity.” The chief ministers have stressed the need for air, rail and bus services between important cities of Bangladesh, including capital Dhaka, with all the capitals of the northeastern states. “India has also been pressing Bangladesh for allowing transit routes through that country,” a Tripura government official said in Agartala. The official said, “Transit routes through Bangladesh, mainly carrying of cargo, would be immensely beneficial for the northeastern states, which have been facing transportation problems since the partition of India.” Tripura Commerce and Industry Minister Jitendra Chowdhury said: “If Dhaka provides transit facilities to India and allows the use of Chittagong international port and other ports in Bangladesh, commodities and machinery can be transported to the northeast from various parts of India and abroad, saving huge time and money.” “In fact, Bangladesh, with a population of around 160 million people, offers a vast market next door. This offers a great potential for setting up joint venture industries in northeast India, with a view to cater to Bangladesh as well as south-east Asia market,” the minister had said while addressing the northeast business summit in Kolkata Saturday. Agartala is 1,650 km from Kolkata and 2,637 km from New Delhi via Guwahati, whereas the distance between the Tripura capital and Kolkata via Bangladesh is about 350 km.

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