Assam governor requests Bangladesh envoy to boost bilateral trade, business

Bangladesh high commissioner to India Muhammad Imran on February 23 met Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi and discussed various bilateral issues and the latter requested the envoy to enhance mutual trade and business, Raj Bhavan officials said.

Assam Raj Bhavan officials said that highlighting the potential areas where Assam and Bangladesh can collaborate for their mutual interests, the governor taking into consideration the friendly relations between India and Bangladesh, emphasised that the volume of bilateral trade through land route should attain the maximum potential.

He also said that the commodities that are presently allowed for exports are restricted to a specific list and positive list.

The governor suggested that there should also be a negative list highlighting the items not to be exported so that the rest all other items can be exported.

“Also, the positive list should be expanded to enhance the growth of trade. Both the countries should be able to trade the items freely thereby enhancing the exports and imports as per capability and requirement,” a Raj Bhavan release said.

It said that the governor also pointed that a bilateral trade agreement with Bangladesh can be made in line with the Indo-Srilankan Free Trade Agreement in place of SAFTA. “This move would shore up the bilateral trade through the land route in the Northeast.”

Mukhi also highlighted that the recent agreement with Bangladesh for allowing the use of its ports by the vessels from the northeast India would go a long way in boosting exports of this region, as well as its trade with the rest of the country through Bangladesh.

“But although the Bangladesh government has consented with the text of the agreement, the actual signing has not taken place,” the release stated.

“Therefore, the governor requested to expedite the signing of the agreement along with the formulation and signing of its SOP. The high commissioner assured that he would take up the matter with the Bangladesh government,” the release said.

The Assam governor also acknowledged the gesture of the Bangladesh high commissioner of visiting Assam as he said that both the neighbours should keep working to strengthen bilateral relations to reap mutual benefits.

Guwahati-based assistant high commissioner of Bangladesh to India Shah Mohammad Tanvir Monsur also accompanied the high commissioner during the meet.

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