Assam unique for investment: Bangladesh industry minister

Stating that Bangladesh was a "unique place for investment", country’s industry minister Dilip Barua today asked India Inc to invest in the country, particularly in sectors like IT, pharmaceuticals and knowledge based industry.

"I would like to take the opportunity to invite Indian corporate sector to invest in the prospective industrial sectors of Bangladesh. I promise that our grand alliance government under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina will extend all out support and cooperation in setting up industry in Bangladesh," Barua said.

"Bangladesh has revised its industrial and investment policy in line with the aspiration of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation). Very recently we declared National Industrial Policy 2010 keeping in mind the opportunity and potential of true connectivity and integration among the neighbouring countries. Our government is giving more incentives and advantages to the foreign investors," added Barua.

He was speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a conference on BIMSTEC, organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and external affairs ministry.

He added that "some leading Indian companies had recently shown keen interest in investing in Bangladesh." Referring to North-East India, Barua said the region has been a focus area for Bangladesh as volume of trade between North-East India and Bangladesh has been increasing steadily.

He said that within a span of six months, two border ‘haats’ at Dawki (in Meghalaya) and Akhaura (in Tripura) will be opened to facilitate border trade between North-East India and Bangladesh.

However, Barua lamented that existing infrastructure at trade points between North-East India and Bangladesh was poor and, thus, need to be upgraded.

"In more than one decade of its existence, BIMSTEC has come a long way. Regional cooperation is now expanded to 13 identified areas in economic and social fields. It is time that we make an in-depth review of BIMSTEC", said Barua.

Barua added that a high-level group of eminent personalities from the region, comprising of BIMSTEC member countries, should be constituted to undertake an independent review of the organisation and to make specific recommendations to bring greater dynamism to the regional effort.

Barua also sought "collective effort and joint cooperation" of regional countries to address the perceived problem of displacement in Bangladesh in case of rise in sea water level due to global warming.