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BD-India joint venture can benefit both nations in Covid-19 reality: FBCCI President

Staff Correspondent
23 Jun 2020 22:13:53 | Update: 23 Jun 2020 22:17:21
BD-India joint venture can benefit both nations in Covid-19 reality: FBCCI President

President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) Sheikh Fazle Fahim said stimulating the economy in Covid-19 realities, job creation and investments in India-Bangladesh joint ventures are the best way to benefit both the nations.

“At this juncture as our bilateral trade stands at about $9 billion,” he said while addressing a webinar titled “India-Bangladesh Trade and Investment: Stakeholders Interaction” organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) on Monday night.

Riva Ganguly Das, high commissioner of India in Bangladesh, was present as the keynote speaker at the webinar.

FBCCI president said “Due to covid-19 realities, to boost the economy and for job creation, joint investments that are part of the value chain for products and services of which raw materials are from India, finished goods are in Bangladesh, used in production in Bangladesh and reexported to India and beyond; is a strategy that I think both the nations would benefit.”

Exploring and executing out of the box initiatives for light engineering, a value chain initiative with raw materials from India and produced in Bangladesh, will be another complimentary initiative in a long list of humane cooperation between the two nations, he mentioned.

If revised provision on deferred payments is worked out, it will assist greater export of backward linkage products from India to Bangladesh and exports to India and beyond through bilateral value chain initiatives targeted towards global markets, he said.

He also requested Indian stakeholders to consider extending the deferred LC payment facilities from Indian Banks for 240 days from the bill of lading for Bangladeshi business purchases.

This should assist an increase in procurement volumes enterprises are presently engaged from diverse countries other than India, he opined.

Manoj Chugh, president (group public affairs) of Mahindra & Mahindra, said the issue of high import duties, particularly on passenger and commercial vehicles, come in the way of accelerating trade between the countries.

“Suitable retail finance needs to be enabled for such products in the Bangladesh market,” he added.

As he (Manoj) pointed out the diversification of routes to promote investment and trade to ease the movement of goods, Fahim said they need to think a little out of the box as conventions has been such in terms of cost Effectiveness.

He, however, said, “Waterways is the best option. Then there is the railway …….. there are definitely push towards exploring and as fast as possible executing these routes in terms of passenger vehicles or any kind of goods and services that comes to Bangladesh from India or the products that good goes to India.”

Riva Ganguly Das echoed the same. She said “Indian railway and Bangladesh railways are working together which shows how committed they are to provide smooth logistics.”

She further mentioned that India is dedicated to take the regional cooperation forward and praised several other speakers’ ideas on remote deduction of Duty on passenger and commercial vehicles.

Dilip Chenoy, secretary general of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and Manish Singhal, deputy secretary general of FICCI, presided over the programme.

Abdul Matlub Ahmad, president of India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI), Venkat Nageswar C, DMD of International Banking Group- SBI, and Ashok Anantharaman, director (International) of CNH International Pvt Ltd also participated in the webinar.