Sonowal wants Brahmaputra-Barak-Padma-Meghna riverine waterways restored

GUWAHATI: In order to carry forward a good beginning made in the form India-Bangladesh Stakeholders’ Meet for Trade and Connectivity, both Assam and Bangladesh vowed to work on the areas like garment industry, health tourism, IT and education sectors among others for the mutual benefits of both the geographical territories.

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 his office chamber in Janata Bhawan on Wednesday, Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal  harped on restoring age-old the trade links between Assam and Bangladesh. He said that 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.

Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said both Assam and Bangladesh should work positively to strengthen the economic ties between Assam and Bangladesh. He pointed out that of late the political relations between India and Bangladesh had turned into business relations. Considering the geographical proximity of Assam with Bangladesh, both the geographical entities should open up to feed the business needs of the people living in Assam and Bangladesh.

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

Flagging the issues like garment industry, education, medical and Information Technology, Sonowal maintained that unless there is a seamless connectivity between Assam and Bangladesh any joint ventures on these sectors would not be successful. He, therefore, urged upon the delegation to put its best possible wisdom to take Assam-Bangladesh ties altogether to a new height.

Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said similar meeting will also be organised in Bangladesh to facilitate Business-to-Business, Business-to-Consumer, Business-to-Government, Government-to-Consumer interaction.

Sonowal later met a 14-member delegation of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry at his office. The delegation led by Senior Vice President Waqar Ahmed Choudhury talked to the chief minister on the increasing demand for a robust business relation between Assam and Bangladesh.

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