'Covid-19 reality may benefit BD-India' -The Asian Age

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

He made the remarks while addressing a webinar titled "India-Bangladesh Trade and Investment: Stakeholders Interaction" organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) on Monday. Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das was the key note speaker at the webinar.

"At this juncture as our bilateral trade stands about 9 billion. And 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", he said.

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, mentioned that 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 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 also said 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 & Industry (FICCI), and Manish Singhal, Deputy Secretary General of FICCI, presided over the program.

Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President, 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.