Desk News, With the aim of providing a platform to discuss the emerging business and investment opportunities through the connectivity of roads, railways and water ways between India and Bangladesh, the High Commission of India in Bangladesh and India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce Industry, have jointly organized a Webinar titled, “Connectivity for growth prosperity and Development.”

Sheikh Fazle Fahim, the President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FBCCI), one of the speakers of the Webinar, reflected on the shining examples of positive trend for greater engagements and cooperation between the two nations during the program.

Speaking at the webinar the President of FBCCI said, “There are no two countries that are bonded together like ours. Our leaderships’ shared values for their constituents’ sustainable growth is a reflection of our bilateral relations today through our corresponding initiative to support and mitigate the Covid-19 crisis.”

Highlighting the emerging innovative trade logistics leveraged on efficient connectivity through rail and water ways, the President said, “Greater cargo movement through the existing four railway links at Petrapole-Benapole, Radhikapur-Birol, Gede-Darshana and Rohanpur-Singhabad have helped trade when land ports were closed.”

“Enhanced Water connectivity enabled by the 2nd Addendum to Protocol on Inland Waterways Trade and Transit (PIWTT) that included two additional routes between Sonamura-Daudhkandi and Rajshahi-Godagir-Dhulian with extension up to Aricha and five additional Ports of Call, have contributed to enhanced connectivity. As a result, a consignment from Garden Reach Kolkata reached Pangaon successfully in a span of 7 days,” he added.

Bi-lateral air bubbles entailing travel bridges, or corona corridors; Renewed Coastal shipping agreement allowing Transshipment of Indian goods via Chattogram and Mongla sea ports; Bilateral cross border trade under the Bilateral Value Chain Initiative (BVCI); ongoing connectivity projects such as the Kulaura- Shahbazpour rail line and Akhaura-Agartala railway line and several issues were also discussed in the Webinar.

Highlighting the ongoing projects of improving connectivity between the two nations, Ms. Riva Ganguly Das, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh and a speaker at the webinar stated, “We have always turned to Bangladesh for our Act East Policy and to empower the ASEAN initiative and have been working closely with Ministry of Commerce, NBR, Ministry of Shipping and various other wings of the government of Bangladesh and other relevant bodies such as FBCCI, IMCCI, CCCI to facilitate bilateral trade, pushing our boundaries to explore even more opportunities.”

Mr. Abdul Matlub Ahmad, the President of India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) who presided over the webinar stated, “Even a continent that has participated in two world wars has open borders and efficient connectivity across the borders of its nations that have led to prosperity and growth of the residing populous. This should be easier for nations like India and Bangladesh that has such a rich history of friendship.”

Tipu Munshi, MP, the Minister of Commerce who also took part in the webinar stated, “We have undertaken several new route permissions at the cabinet level to enhance the connectivity of Bangladesh, expanding even into other territories such as Nepal, Myanmar, China and neighboring countries. But India has been our biggest allies and our collaboration together can empower eastern trade routes such as that of ASEAN.”

Ms. Nihad Kabir, the President of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI); Mr. Mahbubul Alam, President of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI); and Mr. Nurul Alam, Member (finance) of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) also took part in the dialogue through the webinar.