GUWAHATI, Oct 16 - In a bid to create awareness about opportunities to exporters and transporters and to achieve synergy in cross-border trade, a two-day India-Bangladesh Stakeholders� Meet will be held here from October 22, State Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary announced here today.
The meet comes in the backdrop of two major historical agreements between India and Bangladesh � the Bhutan Bangladesh India Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement and Access to Chittagong and Mongla ports to vessels from North East India.
In an interaction with senior journalists, Patowary said, �the Bangladesh delegation led by Tipu Munshi, Minister of Commerce will include 70 officials, businessmen and journalists. Union Ministers and officials, besides Chief Ministers of the North-eastern states will attend the meet�.
In 2018-19, the bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh reached an all time high of USD 10.2 billion. However, trade between the NE Region and Bangladesh through land custom stations stood at only USD 74 million � a mere 0.72 per cent of the total trade between India and Bangladesh. As the NE States share 1741 km long land border with Bangladesh, there is great potential for growth of trade between NE States and Bangladesh.
Industry Minister Patowary today said that access to Chittagong and Mongla ports after their closure since the Indo-Pak war of 1965 would give a big boost to North-Eastern States. Dredging work on the waterways have already been undertaken, he said. He said that the Sittwe Port in Myanmar has almost been completed. �This will link Mizoram and give us access to the sea,� he said.
The Trilateral Highway work is also nearing completion. �This will connect Moreh with Mandalay and Laos. Only about six more bridges are to be completed,� the Minister said.
An international logistics hub will be set up at Joghighopa at a cost of Rs 600 crore on 200 bighas of land. The Asian Development Bank will finance the project, he said.
The Assam Government is in talks with Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) to set up an Industrial hub of 150 companies. A 2000 bigha plot of land at Nagarberra has been earmarked for this project, Patowary said.