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Hasina assures to boost NE trade links

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, March 1 � Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assured a delegation of Ministers and trade bodies of North East States that her Government would take all possible steps to facilitate movement of goods from the region through Bangladesh.

Assam Industries and Commerce Minister, Pradyut Bordoloi, who was a part of the delegation which met the Bangladesh Prime Minister on February 25 following a business conclave, said that the Prime Minister of the neighbouring country also assured the delegation that the soil of Bangladesh would not be allowed to be used by militants and other anti-India forces.

Meanwhile, NE India-Bangladesh business conclave in Dhaka stressed the need for developing National Waterway 2 which starts in Assam and extends to Bangladesh. The conclave is of the view that the waterway should be dredged and made navigable.

Bordoloi, who attended the conclave held at Dhaka, told The Assam Tribune over telephone at the end of the conclave that the Indo-Bangla Chambers of Commerce and Industries (IBCCI) and Indian Chambers of Commerce (ICC) issued a joint declaration for improvement of trade ties. The conclave was attended among others by representatives of the NE States including Ministers and Chief Minister of Meghalaya and representatives of the Government of Bangladesh.

Giving details of the joint declaration adopted in the conclave, Bordoloi said that both sides agreed for strengthening the international trade infrastructure between two countries with special focus on Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, the States which have international border with Bangladesh. The joint declaration said that connectivity through Chittagong port can be vital for improving trade relations between India and Bangladesh and improvement of the waterways is a must for that. Night navigation in the waterways should be put in place and tariff and non tariff barriers should be removed. Road connectivity between commercially viable locations should be improved and efforts must be made for tourism promotion between Bangladesh and NE States. Both sides also agreed for exchange of business and Government delegations between NE States and Bangladesh.

Bordoloi said that the declaration referred to some specific points regarding the steps need to be taken in the states of the region for the improvement of trade ties. He said that in regards to Assam, apart from the need for development of the National Waterway 2, the joint declaration said that Bangladesh should develop border trade infrastructure on their side with reference to border trade centres developed in Golakganj and Mankachar in Dhubri district and Sutarkandi in Karimganj district. The declaration said that Bangladesh should remove the trade barriers for smooth movement of goods and commodities through road and river routes. The declaration further said that Bangladesh should facilitate extension of river route movement of containers from the Inland Container Depot , Amingaon to Kolkata port and if possible connect Chittagong port with it.

In regard to Tripura, the joint declaration said that the process of implementing the agreement reached between India and Bangladesh to allow access to Chittagong port should be expedited and Ashuganj should be declared as a port of call to allow movement of over dimensional cargo. The declaration stressed the need for opening of Sabroom-Ramgarh land custom station and development of infrastructure in the same, introduction of bus service and air connectivity between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka etc. The declaration further said that National Highway 4 should be connected to the Dhaka-Chittagong road.

For Mizoram, the declaration called for construction of bridges connecting Mizoram with Bangladesh, road connectivity up to Demagiri and that the Thekemukh-Kawrpurichuah check post should be made operational.

The joint declaration referred to a number of issues regarding Meghalaya and said that the border haats at Dawki, Borsora, Mahendraganj and Gasuapara in Meghalaya should be made operational. The declaration stressed the need for air connectivity between Dhaka-Sylhet and Shillong and said that bus service should be introduced from strategic locations in Garo Hills to Bangladesh. The declaration called for strengthening of the land customs stations at Meghalaya-Bangladesh border and introduction of riverine transport through the Simsang river in Garo Hills between Meghalaya and Bangladesh.

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Hasina assures to boost NE trade links

GUWAHATI, March 1 � Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assured a delegation of Ministers and trade bodies of North East States that her Government would take all possible steps to facilitate movement of goods from the region through Bangladesh.

Assam Industries and Commerce Minister, Pradyut Bordoloi, who was a part of the delegation which met the Bangladesh Prime Minister on February 25 following a business conclave, said that the Prime Minister of the neighbouring country also assured the delegation that the soil of Bangladesh would not be allowed to be used by militants and other anti-India forces.

Meanwhile, NE India-Bangladesh business conclave in Dhaka stressed the need for developing National Waterway 2 which starts in Assam and extends to Bangladesh. The conclave is of the view that the waterway should be dredged and made navigable.

Bordoloi, who attended the conclave held at Dhaka, told The Assam Tribune over telephone at the end of the conclave that the Indo-Bangla Chambers of Commerce and Industries (IBCCI) and Indian Chambers of Commerce (ICC) issued a joint declaration for improvement of trade ties. The conclave was attended among others by representatives of the NE States including Ministers and Chief Minister of Meghalaya and representatives of the Government of Bangladesh.

Giving details of the joint declaration adopted in the conclave, Bordoloi said that both sides agreed for strengthening the international trade infrastructure between two countries with special focus on Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, the States which have international border with Bangladesh. The joint declaration said that connectivity through Chittagong port can be vital for improving trade relations between India and Bangladesh and improvement of the waterways is a must for that. Night navigation in the waterways should be put in place and tariff and non tariff barriers should be removed. Road connectivity between commercially viable locations should be improved and efforts must be made for tourism promotion between Bangladesh and NE States. Both sides also agreed for exchange of business and Government delegations between NE States and Bangladesh.

Bordoloi said that the declaration referred to some specific points regarding the steps need to be taken in the states of the region for the improvement of trade ties. He said that in regards to Assam, apart from the need for development of the National Waterway 2, the joint declaration said that Bangladesh should develop border trade infrastructure on their side with reference to border trade centres developed in Golakganj and Mankachar in Dhubri district and Sutarkandi in Karimganj district. The declaration said that Bangladesh should remove the trade barriers for smooth movement of goods and commodities through road and river routes. The declaration further said that Bangladesh should facilitate extension of river route movement of containers from the Inland Container Depot , Amingaon to Kolkata port and if possible connect Chittagong port with it.

In regard to Tripura, the joint declaration said that the process of implementing the agreement reached between India and Bangladesh to allow access to Chittagong port should be expedited and Ashuganj should be declared as a port of call to allow movement of over dimensional cargo. The declaration stressed the need for opening of Sabroom-Ramgarh land custom station and development of infrastructure in the same, introduction of bus service and air connectivity between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka etc. The declaration further said that National Highway 4 should be connected to the Dhaka-Chittagong road.

For Mizoram, the declaration called for construction of bridges connecting Mizoram with Bangladesh, road connectivity up to Demagiri and that the Thekemukh-Kawrpurichuah check post should be made operational.

The joint declaration referred to a number of issues regarding Meghalaya and said that the border haats at Dawki, Borsora, Mahendraganj and Gasuapara in Meghalaya should be made operational. The declaration stressed the need for air connectivity between Dhaka-Sylhet and Shillong and said that bus service should be introduced from strategic locations in Garo Hills to Bangladesh. The declaration called for strengthening of the land customs stations at Meghalaya-Bangladesh border and introduction of riverine transport through the Simsang river in Garo Hills between Meghalaya and Bangladesh.