Bangladesh: Next destination for investment

Bangladesh: Next destination for investment
Indian business delegation meets FBCCI team in Dhaka
Star Business Report

Bangladesh could be the next ideal destination for investment as its markets are opening up amid industrial resurgence, the head of an Indian business delegation said yesterday.

“Bangladesh is ready to launch and march forward, and we are convinced that Bangladesh could be the next destination for investment,” said Aniruddha Lahiri, vice chairman of AmCham India.

“Its markets are opening and industrial resurgence is taking place. We have got indication that we are very much welcome here,” he said.

Lahiri said the two countries should work together to explore common interests in trade and business across the border and in and beyond the region.

The comments came at a meeting between the 18-member team of AmCham India led by Lahiri and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at the conference room of FBCCI in the city.

FBCCI Vice-President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu chaired the meeting.

FBCCI Director Abdul Haque said Bangladesh offers tremendous opportunities for the Indian business community; the two countries also explore opportunities in the region together.

FBCCI Director Md Harun-ur-Rashid said the killing of Bangladeshi citizens by Indian Border Security Force in the border area is unprecedented given the historic and existing friendly relationship between the two countries.

He urged the business delegation to discuss the issue with Indian policymakers aiming to stop killing of innocent people. “The security force could use rubber bullets, which will spare innocent lives.”

He was referring to the killing of a 15-year-old girl, Felani, on Phulbari border in Kurigram by the BSF on January 7. The incident provoked huge outrage from the people in Bangladesh, leading New Delhi to regret the incident two weeks later.

FBCCI Secretary General Mir Shahabuddin Mohammad said getting Indian visa is a major hurdle the country’s business community faces.

“Getting visa is a very complicated matter. We have to wait for visas no matter what one’s purpose is–business or healthcare,” he said. “This is painful when our prime minister has provided various facilities to India to improve connectivity with Bhutan and Nepal.”

He said India should be more open in removing tariff and non-tariff barriers to take economic relations to a new height. “There are some minor problems that hamper trade.”

Bangladesh imports products worth $5 billion, which is an official figure, but imports by informal means are just as big, Shahabuddin said. “So, India should help promote trade and investment.”

Rajiv Pujara, managing director of Kolkata-based Atlas Healthcare Software, said people getting killed across the border is very unfortunate and shocking. “It’s a sensitive issue.”

He said the visa related problems are not one-sided. “The two countries should work together to find solutions.”

Later, the business delegation had another meeting with the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) in its office.

DCCI President Asif Ibrahim, senior vice president TIM Nurul Kabir and vice-president Nasir Hossain were also present among others.


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