Speakers at the Indian Agro Products Buyers-Sellers’ Meet 2018 have voiced their requirement for technical support in the agricultural sector in Bangladesh so that local demand of agricultural resources can be met through development.
The demand came up at a ceremony held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Sunday.
The ceremony was organized by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in association with the High Commission of India and supported by FBCCI and IBCCI. The speakers praised the initiative and inaugurated the program by cutting a symbolic ribbon.
The two day-long program is taking place at the Meghna Hall of Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka from March 4 to 5 (10am to 6pm).
Abdul Matlub Ahmad, president of the Indo-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) said: “We can produce many agricultural products, but we do not have the necessary technical support in the sector here.
“If we get the support, we can fulfil the country's demand and even though our geographical area is very small compared to India, we can yield all sorts of agricultural goods and export them worldwide,” he added.
The export of APEDA-endorsed products to Bangladesh during 2016-2017 amounted to roughly $396.44 million.
The major products exported to Bangladesh are basmati and non-basmati rice, fresh vegetables, wheat, maize, pulses, dried fruits, cocoa products, natural honey, molasses, confectioneries, dried and preserved vegetables, fresh mangoes, etc.
Bangladeshi State Minister for Finance M A Mannan, speaking as the chief guest said: “India has been a very close friend of our country for years. They are our natural friend, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has retained the relationship.
“Guwahati is an Indian state that is a rising economy. Our businesses can take this opportunity and do well in that market. The entire South Asian economy can be changed for the better if our PM and the Indian PM work together to develop the economic base” he added.
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla said: “Around 17 delegates from India are participating in the Buyers-Sellers Meet in order to hold one-on-one business meetings.
“However, the main objective here is to promote the export of agricultural and processed food products from India along with the implementation of technical support. The program will provide a platform to explore mutually beneficial business opportunities contributing to better economic ties between the two countries,” he said.
He also added that India has been able to increase its supply of agricultural products compared to previous years because of world class technical support. Non-tariff barriers will not be an obstacle, and Bangladesh will also have more to export to India.
Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) said: “We have a regional platform as neighbouring countries. We should improve our business relationship. It is about time we built on our relationship in the sector.”