Bangla seeks air link with Guwahati

GUWAHATI, Feb 3 – The Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Tariq A Karim today met Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and discussed bilateral issues beneficial to both the countries.

Karim also underscored the need for air connectivity between Guwahati and Dhaka and opening up a common integrated border trade centre in the North-east. Bangladesh is also considering to set up a visa issue office in Guwahati for the benefit of the people in the region.

Disclosing this at a programme organised by the Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER) in Guwahati today, Karim pointed out that proper connectivity is a must to develop bilateral trade between Bangladesh and North-east India. “Despite vast scope, we have not been able to harness our trade potential. This is apparently due to poor infrastructure and lack of connectivity,” he said.

Citing reasons in this regard, the Bangladesh envoy revealed that the trade points scattered on either side of border are in a shambles. “If we really want to increase our volume of trade, the existing trade points need to be developed. We are keen to expand our trade ties with the North-east, but to carry forward our plans, we must upgrade the present connectivity in our bordering areas and this region,” he added.

Expressing concern over rising illegal trade across the border, Karim revealed that the volume of illegal trade across the border stand at $ 4 billion which has become a matter of concern for both the countries.

“This is a major issue which needs to be addressed immediately,” he added.

Karim also advocated setting up of Trade Information Centres so that traders can access proper information about the trend of market in Bangladesh and North-east India as well.

Earlier, FINER gave a presentation covering various areas in the North-east for wooing Bangladeshi investments.

FINER chairman RS Joshi said that Bangladesh is no longer a strange neighbour for this region as far as trade is concerned. “North-east and Bangladesh can increase the present volume of trade by involving the traders of both the countries,” he said.

Joshi also said that FINER has laid emphasis on the development of eco and medical tourism sector by engaging trade bodies of Bangladesh and the North-east.