চট্টগ্রাম চেম্বার অফ কমার্স এন্ড ইন্ডাস্ট্রির সাথে মতবিনিময় সভায় ভারতীয় হাই কমিশনার শ্রীমতী রীভা গাঙ্গুলি দাশের বক্তব্য Statements & Speeches

চট্টগ্রাম চেম্বার অফ কমার্স এন্ড ইন্ডাস্ট্রির সাথে মতবিনিময় সভায় ভারতীয় হাই কমিশনার শ্রীমতী রীভা গাঙ্গুলি দাশের বক্তব্য

Remarks by High Commissioner of India, H.E. Ms. Riva Ganguly Das at the Interaction with the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry

[17 June 2019, Chattogram ]

  • Mr Mahbubul Alam, President, Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry;
  • Members of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry and;
  • Friends from the media;
  • Ladies & gentlemen.

1.I am happy to be here for an interaction with the members of the business community in Chattogram and would like to thank the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry led by Mr. Mahbubul Alam for arranging this interaction.

2.As you all know, India-Bangladesh relations today are better than ever. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister, H.E. Sheikh Hasina, our ties have entered what the former described as a Sonali Adhyay.

3.Bangladesh has done exceedingly well on both social and economic fronts over the last ten years. With GDP growth rate of around 8% and having met the criteria to graduate from the LDC status, Bangladesh is poised to become a middle income country in a few years. India has also been growing rapidly and is now the sixth largest economy in the world. An excellent bilateral relationship and rapid economic growth in both our countries are two important factors driving the growth of our trade and commercial ties.

4.Our bilateral trade has registered a significant increase in the last ten years, and has crossed the USD 10 billion milestone in 2018-19 (Indian exports stood at USD 9.2 billion and imports stood at USD 1.04 billion). India has also extended to Bangladesh duty-free quota-free access to its market of 1.3 billion people. I am happy to note that Bangladesh’s exports to India, particularly of the readymade garments, are also seeing substantial growth, and have crossed the USD 1 billion this year.

5.On the investment side, a number of prominent Indian companies have invested in Bangladesh across a wide range of sectors. Major Indian brands such as Hero MotoCorp, Marico, Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, Dabur etc. have set up operations in Bangladesh and are contributing to Bangladesh’s economy by generating employment and revenue for the Government. Total Indian Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Bangladesh currently stands at around USD 570 million. Investment proposals worth an estimated USD 10 billion, signed during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in April 2017, are also in the pipeline. With the operationalization of the Indian economic zones in Mongla and Mirsarai, greater Indian investment is expected to flow into Bangladesh.

6.Both countries have also decided to initiate the process for entering into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement that will go beyond goods trade and will also include trade in services, investment promotion and technological cooperation. With the graduation of Bangladesh from LDC status, this Agreement will also provide a basis for preferential trade to continue between the two countries.

7.India is also a committed development partner of Bangladesh, and we have providing USD 8 billion in concessional financing to Bangladesh under three Lines of Credit. This is the largest amount of concessional credit India has given to any single country which demonstrates that India accords highest priority to relations with Bangladesh. The projects covered under these Lines of Credit will help improve infrastructure in Bangladesh in sectors like ports, power, railways, roads and airports.

8.I am very happy to be in Chattogram. The people of Chattogram played a great role in the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. It is also the birthplace of legendary revolutionary nationalist and the architect of the Chattogram uprising, Surya Sen or Master Da, and holds an important place in the history of our independence struggle against the British.

9.Chattogram has historically been a vital part of the economy of this region and is now a major industrial center in Bangladesh. Home to the largest Port in Bangladesh, Chattogram is important for our bilateral commercial relationship, and for regional economic cooperation and connectivity. It can also play a crucial role in promoting connectivity of India’s northeastern states with the region. To strengthen infrastructure and attract more investments in Chattogram, India has pledged concessional financing for development of the Chattogram Port and for development of an Indian economic zone in Mirsarai.

10.Let me conclude by once again thanking the Chamber and its President, Mr Mahbubul Alam for organizing this interaction. I also thank all present for attending the interaction. Chittagong Chamber has been an active supporter of greater India-Bangladesh commercial linkages and connectivity. I am certain that the Chamber will continue to support us as we further strengthen our commercial ties.

Thank you.