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Assam and Bangladesh to work together in multiple sectors

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his government is all committed to enhance the bilateral relations between the two geographical entities.

, ET Bureau|
Oct 23, 2019, 07.31 PM IST
Guwahati: Assam and Bangladesh agreed to work in garment, health tourism, IT and education sector. Holding a meeting with the Minister of Commerce, Government of Bangladesh Tipu Munshi and his delegation on the side lines of the second day of India-Bangladesh Stakeholders’ Meet in Guwahati on Wednesday, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his government is all committed to enhance the bilateral relations between the two geographical entities.

Munshi while hailing the dynamism and bold leadership of Chief Minister Sonowal said that the positive environment generated in trade and connectivity between Assam and Bangladesh is reportedly the best in 30 years. He also said that in this backdrop both Assam and Bangladesh should work positively to strengthen the economic ties between Assam and Bangladesh. He also said that of late the political relations between India and Bangladesh have turned into business relations. Considering the geographical proximity of Assam with Bangladesh, both the geographical entities should open up.

Sonowal stated the ports in Bangladesh need to be linked with Assam through Brahmaputra-Barak-Padma-Meghna riverine waterways to facilitate economic growth of the region. He also outlined the need of restoring rail connectivity between North East and Bangladesh.

Sonowal also reiterated on devising modalities to decide the standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure speedy implementation of agreements, which would ensure access to Chattogram and Mongla Ports of Bangladesh for the northeast, and execution of the BBIN motor vehicle agreement.

Sonowal later met a 14-member delegation of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

As part of the meet a session on 'Role of Regulatory Authorities' was held where role of regulatory authorities in easing the cross border movement of goods and services through the surface route was discussed.

Mohammad Alauddin Fokir, Additional Secretary, Bangladesh Land Port Authority said that both India and Bangladesh have strengths and challenges. He said that to facilitate trade, authorities from both sides must come to a mutual solution for these challenges. He informed that Bangladesh Land Port Authority has declared 23 land ports since its inception in 2012. He also underlined the requirement of quarantine facilities at the Agartala-Akhaura Land Port to facilitate the traders.

GV Krishna Rao, Chief Commissioner, Central GST and Customs, Northeast Region stated that customs department promotes legal trade, cuts down illegal trade and ensures safety standards of goods and clearance at a minimum possible time.

Arvind Akashi, Manager (Projects), Land Port Authority of India, said that there are 10 Integrated Check Posts (ICP) on Bangladesh Border and the one at Sutarkandi, Asssam has been operationalized. He also highlighted the facilities at the Integrated Check Post (ICP)s in terms of electronic weigh bridge, CCTV, cargo scanner etc.

Kanon Kumar Roy, Member (Tax Policy), National Board of Revenue, Bangladesh said that in the era of borderless global world, the regulators must protect the interests of the domestic traders. He mentioned that only mutual co-operation would give good dimension of cross border trade.

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