Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Tuesday said Bangladesh would appreciate any initiative on the part of the Indian government to remove trade barriers that restrict the export of seeds from Bangladesh.
“We would like to see more cooperation in agro processing. Indian companies can set up manufacturing plants in our economic zones,” Razzaque said, while addressing a discussion titled ‘India Bangladesh Digital Conference on Agriculture Sector followed by B2B Session.’
The conference was jointly organised by the two countries’ apex trade bodies, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said India is not just a neighbour but also a good friend.
“India is the second largest trade partner of Bangladesh. But the trade balance is in India’s favour,” he also said.
Mentioning the anti-dumping measures taken by Indian government against Bangladeshi export items including jute, the minister said “Those measures adversely affected our exports.”
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Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Railways and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India, said Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in south Asia. The partnership is a role model in this region.
“I do believe agriculture can have game-changing potential between our countries,” he also said.
Commemorating the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and India’s cooperation during the war of independence in 1971, Sheikh Fazle Fahim, President of FBCCI, said, ‘No two nations are like ours in this world build on humane ties that are bonded in our heritage, culture, anthropology which were to be cherished and honored for generations to come.
He said, ‘Bangladesh’s private sector procures multi billion dollars of value chain inputs from India which have higher prospects and we want to jointly work to move towards a sustainable trade balance. These will be possible through JVs, industry diversification and market diversification. And we are confident we can achieve any goals through stronger public private engagement beyond our borders.’
‘We look forward to our future engagements maximizing bilateral knowledge and resources towards complementary cooperation with out of the box sustainable equitable engagements. We believe this is an intro to be followed by measurable outcomes,’ he also added.
agro mechanization, improving the quality of the yield and food products as well as optimization of Agro-Production Cycles could be the potential fields for cooperation between India and Bangladesh.
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Fahim said there is a huge scope for joint collaboration, mutual expansion and knowledge sharing between the two countries. “It is time to work together so as to promote and maximize all agro products to meet the needs of the people,” he added.
Vikram Doraiswami, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, said agriculture is a key sector for both of us in political, social and economic terms.
Dr Pawan Goenka, Chairman of CII National Mission on Aatma Nirbhar Bharat and Managing Director& CEO, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd; T V Narendran, President-Designate of CII and CEO & Managing Director of Tata Steel Ltd; and Sujib Ranjan Dash, Director of FBCCI also spoke there.
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