High Commission of India
Remarks by High Commissioner of India, Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the Inauguration of the Indo-Bangla Trade Fair, 2017, February 16, 2017
Hon’ble Minister of Commerce, Bangladesh, H.E., Mr. Tofail Ahmed
President, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Abdul Matlub Ahmed
President, India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Taskeen Ahmed
Vice President, India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Dewan Sultan Ahmed
Mr. Abhijeet Chakravorty, Country Head, State Bank of India – the Lead Sponsor of the Fair
Mr. Ambarish Dasgupta, Leader of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry Delegation
Mr. Pankaj Tandon, Leader of the Confederation of Indian Industry Delegation
Friends from the media
Ladies and gentlemen
I am delighted to be here at the inauguration of the 4th edition of the Indo-Bangla Trade Fair being organized by the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IBCCI).
2. IBCCI had first taken this initiative in 2010, and it was greatly appreciated by the business community in both India and Bangladesh. The third edition of the Fair was organized in 2012. The present edition has come after a gap of five years, which is a welcome development.
3. IBCCI has been playing an important role in promoting India-Bangladesh trade and commercial ties. In November last year, IBCCI had organized a fruitful discussion on enhancing India-Bangladesh Waterways Connectivity which saw good participation from both the countries. In an important development in waterways/sea connectivity between India and Bangladesh, first container ship will arrive from Kolkata to Pangaon Inland Container Terminal tomorrow under the Coastal Shipping Agreement between our two countries.
4. The Indo-Bangla Trade Fair is another great effort from IBCCI to further promote our bilateral commercial ties. I am told that around 60 companies from India and Bangladesh and from diverse sectors including automobiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals etc. are participating in the Fair. This includes business delegations from Confederation of Indian Industry and Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Kolkata. I am certain that this event will provide a great opportunity for the businesses from two countries to showcase their products and to connect with each other.
5. With India-Bangladesh trade and commercial relationship growing at a substantial pace, Bangladesh is now India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia. In the last 15 years Bangladesh’s exports to India have grown tenfold and India’s exports to Bangladesh have grown six times. The total bilateral trade in 2015-16 stood at USD 6.14 billion.
6. Companies from both India and Bangladesh are also exploring new opportunities for investing and setting up joint ventures in each other’s country. Indian investments registered with Bangladesh Investment Development Authority are more than USD 3 billion. Indian companies such as Marico, CEAT, Tata Motors, Godrej, Sun Pharma, Asian Paints etc. have made substantial investments in the country. Several of these companies are also participating in this Fair. Around USD 11 billion of investments from India in the power, LNG and port sectors in Bangladesh are in the pipeline. India has also been offered sites by Bangladesh for setting up Special Economic Zones exclusively for Indian companies to invest.
7. I would like to thank the Hon’ble Commerce Minister of Bangladesh for his presence here today. He is a great supporter of strong ties between India and Bangladesh. I also congratulate the President of IBCCI, Mr. Taskeen Ahmed and his team for taking this initiative and continuing to bring the businesses in India and Bangladesh together. I am certain that this Fair will be a big success which will encourage the IBCCI to organize it on an even bigger scale next year.