Pointing out that Bangladesh and north eastern Indian states are part of a sub-regional economy for centuries, India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla apprised the conclave about the initiatives being taken by the two countries to re-energize this sub-regional economy by way of improving connectivity, opening the borders to trade and improving infrastructure for that. He also talked about the potential for horticultural products and tourism in the Northeast and expressed hope that the conclave would generate new opportunities for businesses in both the countries.
After the inauguration of the conclave, officials from the northeastern states of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram presented a glimpse of different horticultural products and of tourism potential. It also saw presentations on offerings from these states and also on specific requirements of the Bangladesh industry and trading community.
Nearly 60 traders and companies from Bangladesh including Pran Group, Allied Food Extracts, and Sindhiya Enterprises participated in the conclave.
Dr. Abdur Razzak, Member of Parliament, Bangladesh, who was the Chief Guest, spoke of creating marketing opportunities for farmers and producers of agricultural and horticultural products in the two countries and suggested that fruits and vegetables could be traded during the lean periods in the country.
The conclave like these with the focus on promoting connectivity underscored the growing salience of sub-regional economic cooperation in South Asian diplomacy. Whether it is road connectivity, management and use of waters of common rivers for generating electricity and flood control and trade in merchandise, sub-regional cooperation is increasingly becoming important, as is shown by the success of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) initiative.
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