High Commission of India
Remarks by High Commissioner of India, Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the Inauguration of North East India-Bangladesh EXIM Conclave, February 22, 2017
Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Bangladesh, Dr. Abdur Razzak
Director, Meghalaya Basin Development Authority, Government of Meghalaya, Mr. Aiben Swer
Director (Horticulture), Government of Assam, Mr. P. K. Hazarika
Mr. H Manthianga, Deputy Director (Horticulture), Government of Mizoram
Mr. Dimitry Laishram, Manager, TCML, Tourism Department, Government of Manipur
CEO, North East Foundation, Mr. Bhanu Pratap Singh
Friends from the media
Ladies and gentlemen
It is a great pleasure to be here at the inauguration of the North East India-Bangladesh EXIM Conclave.
2.Historically, Bangladesh and the neighboring Indian states have been part of a sub-regional economy. We are trying to re-energize this sub-regional economy by opening the borders to trade and improving sub-regional connectivity and trade infrastructure.
3.There is great potential for creating cross-border value chains in different sectors. Already we have a great example of this on the Meghalaya-Bangladesh border where Lafarge Surma Cement imports limestone from Meghalaya using a cross-border conveyor belt for its cement plant close to the border in Bangladesh.
4.Horticulture and food processing is an area in which there is great scope for cross-border cooperation. Our Northeastern states have immense potential to supply horticultural products such as Banana, Pineapple, Orange, Litchi, Apple, Passion Fruit, Cashew Nut, Ginger, Tea, Flowers etc. both for direct consumption and for being used as inputs for the food processing industry in Bangladesh. Bangladesh companies can also access the Northeastern markets by exporting finished products and by exploring opportunities for investment there. Products of Pran Group from Bangladesh, which has also invested in Tripura, are already doing very well in our Northeastern states.
5.Tourism in the Northeast is another area which holds great potential. The 8 states in the Northeast offer a wide variety of landscapes and wildlife, and also great cultural diversity.
6.I am told that more than 60 traders of horticultural items and representatives of the tourism industry from Bangladesh are participating in this event to see what is being offered by our Northeastern states. I am very happy to note that there is great interest here in what the Northeast has to offer. I am certain that the interactions during the event will result in generation of new opportunities for business community in the both the countries.
7. I congratulate the Northeast Foundation for taking this initiative. I would like to thank their Bangladesh partners – the Bangladesh Organic Products Manufacturers’ Association, Allied Foods Industries, and Sindhiya Enterprise, for supporting the organization of the conclave. I would also like to thank Dr. Abdur Razzak, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Bangladesh for taking time out to attend the inauguration today.