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Atiur Rahman: Trade facilitation infrastructure required to boost Indo-Bangla trade

  • Published at 10:13 pm September 4th, 2018
Atiur Rahman
Dr Atiur Rahman Photo: Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Rahman highlighted various points on improving Bangladesh’s trade potential, improving the Indo-Bangla trade relations and so on

An equitable trade facilitation infrastructure at the India-Bangladesh border is required to boost trade between the two countries, former Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman said at a round-table discussion conducted by the Agartala Press Club on Sunday.

The renowned economist was speaking at a seminar titled, “Discussion on Strengthening Indo-Bangladesh Relationship.”

Rahman highlighted various points on improving Bangladesh’s trade potential, improving the Indo-Bangla trade relations and so on.

“Intra-regional trade between South Asian countries is the need of the hour. However, the countries in the region are not making enough efforts in that direction. To be precise, with intra-regional trade at less than 5% of the total trade, South Asia is the least integrated country of the world,” Rahman said.

Taking on the digital form of business, he added, “Today even beggars and rickshaw pullers in Bangladesh are using mobile banking. Our prime minister is working specifically to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and unemployment from Bangladesh and upgrade the economic status of the country by the next 10-12 years.”

Highlighting the trade potential of Bangladesh and India, Rahman said: “Bangladesh has opened up an enormous trade potential for both countries, which still remains largely untapped. Exports from Bangladesh via Akhaura has an annual  worth of$16 million These exports include crushed stone, lay flat tube, float glasses and cement. Import of dry fish, bamboo and dry chilli from Tripura is worth only$0.14 million, even though the state has a huge export potential.”

“Bangladesh is presently importing 160MW power from South Tripura’s Palatana power plant and is implementing a project of $160 million to set up a high-voltage sub-station in Comilla and to import another 500MW from Tripura itself,” the former Bangladesh Bank governor added.