GUWAHATI, Oct 10: Close on the heels of Bangladesh Prime Minister Seikh Hasina’s visit to India and signing, exchanging, adopting of bilateral agreements between the two countries, Assam chief minister Sonowal on Thursday asked the Act East Affairs department to leave no stone unturned for the success of the India-Bangladesh Stakeholders’ Meet to be held in Guwahati on October 22 and 23.
Reviewing the preparations being made for the meeting, Sonowal called upon the organisers — Act East Policy Affairs Department and ministry of commerce and industries — to put in place all necessary arrangements so that meeting is held in an atmosphere of great cordiality and warmth to put forward the bilateral relations which are based on deep historical and fraternal ties.
The Stakeholders’ Meet will primarily focus on creating a level playing field for the stakeholders of the both the countries like Union ministers, state ministers, foreign ministers, ambassadors, Indian and foreign investors, buyers, corporate houses and high profile business delegations of India and Bangladesh which has been tag-lined as trade and connectivity.
The meeting also proposes to discuss and create awareness on the opportunities made available by the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement and the access to Chittagong and Mongla Ports to the Northeast.
Recalling the shared bonds of history, culture, language, secularism and other unique commonalities that characterize the partnership of both countries with special reference to Assam, the chief minister Sonowal said that Assam and Bangladesh had a coordinated network of communication system which existed through road, rail, and water.
However, in due course of time the rail link has been snapped off causing severing rail connectivity between the two geographic entities. He also said that the stakeholders’ meet will be a way forward towards reviving the age-old communication ties between Assam and Bangladesh.
The chief minister said that the stakeholders meeting which is being held in the back drop of the Act East Policy should augur well advancing mutually beneficial partnership in both conventional and non-conventional areas, and to ensure that this irreversible partnership enhances people to people relations between the two countries besides strengthening a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between India and Bangladesh.
Emphasising on a win-win business partnership, Sonowal also said that the stakeholders’ meet would create awareness on opportunities made available by the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement, the Port Use Agreement and Use of Cross Border Inland Waterways and access of the Chittagong and Mongla Ports to the North East.
The chief minister also said that concerted effort should be made so that the meeting snowballed into a major trade promotion launchpad between India and Bangladesh which helps India to reach the target of 5 trillion-dollar economy by 2024.
The likely key stakeholders of the meeting will be Indian ministry of commerce & revenue, Bangladesh ministry of commerce & industry, Indian ministry of external affairs, Bangladesh ministry of foreign affairs, Indian ministry of shipping, Indian ministry of road transport, Bangladesh ministry of shipping, Bangladesh ministry of road transport, Asian Development Bank, Freight Forwarding Associations, Motor Transport Associations, Inland Water Transport Authority, representatives from Chittagong Port Authority, representatives from Mongla Port Authority and Customs Officials.
Industries and commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, chief minister’s principal secretary Sanjay Lohiya, commissioner and secretary (industry and commerce) KK Dwivedi, commissioner and secretary (Guwahati Dev and Urban Dev Deptts), SS Meenakshi Sundaram, representatives from Indian Chamber of Commerce were present at the meeting.