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CII sees big gains coming from PM Modis Bangladesh visit

Date 06-June-2015
Subject CII sees big gains coming from PM Modis Bangladesh visit

KOLKATA : PM Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh is bound to result in big gains for both countries, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). "CII believes that Prime Minister Modi's upcoming visit would mark an exciting new phase in India-Bangladesh economic and commercial relations," stated Sumit Mazumder, president, CII.

India Bangladesh trade has potential to touch $10 billion by the year 2018. In order to reach this target, the two countries should aim at opening new land customs stations, harmonization and recognition of standards, pruning of negative lists, and banking and finance cooperation, said Mr Mazumder.

"Bangladesh aims to become a middle-income country by 2021 and India should emerge as a strong partner in realizing this goal," he stressed.

Infrastructure and connectivity is the key to the bilateral investment. CII suggests that the North Eastern states of India should be actively involved in planning and preparing transport linkages. This would also deepen India's Act East Policy for greater engagement with ASEAN and East Asia, added CII.

Aggregate trade between India and Bangladesh stands at $6.9 billion in 2014-15. However, trade is heavily in favor of India with its exports to Bangladesh at $6.2 billion and imports at $0.6 billion. India has accorded Bangladesh the status of zero-tariff imports for all but 25 tariff lines. Cumulative Indian investments in Bangladesh stood at $2.5 billion in 2012-13.

"Economic areas such as trans-border trade, infrastructure bottlenecks, and non-tariff issues need to be addressed to achieve full potential of bilateral trade between the two countries" observed Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII."Indian industry can explore investment opportunities in Bangladesh across sectors such as energy, garments, and skill development, among others" said Mr Banerjee.

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