Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr Atiur Rahman has urged Indian businesses to utilize Bangladesh's low cost manufacturing base to produce goods for local, Indian, and global markets, taking into account the favoured market access for exports from this country.
"India, our closest big neighbour is partnering with us in promoting trade and investment linkages, with much needed investments in railway and other communication infrastructure," the central bank governor said while addressing at a seminar here today.
The seminar, 'India-Bangladesh Relation: Regional Prosperity and Amity,' was organized by the Rastrabiggan Samity.
In his speech Dr Rahman said cooperation in this area has scopes to expand and deepen.
"With demographic dividend of large pool of low cost labour force, Bangladesh is now a fertile base for massive volumes of new investments in the areas of manufacturing, infrastructure, education and technology," the governor added.
"Under the dynamic leadership of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh is already a robustly growing developing economy, steadily gaining in macroeconomic stability and external sector strength on transition path to a higher growth trajectory," he said.
Regarding Indo-Bangla trade, the BB governor said Indian businesses can foster more extensive trade value chain linkages with Bangladeshi manufacturers, drawing from success example in the textiles trade sector.
"Deepening and widening of trade and economic cooperation in our region require major simplification and facilitation of customs clearance procedures in overland goods flows in the trade value chains, allowing cross-border movement of cargo laden vehicles. I look forward to the new regional transit agreement to be signed shortly as a key first step in this process," said Rahman.
He said Bangladesh's seaports, land ports and rail or road arteries need major expansion and modernization for handling increasing cargo volumes of regional transit trade traffic.
Dr Rahman welcomed India's vibrant IT, healthcare, education, training and other service sectors for taking advantage of Bangladesh's large pool of relatively low-cost youthful tech savvy manpower to set up product research/design/development, world class tertiary education, training and healthcare facilities in Bangladesh, on joint venture or wholly foreign owned basis.
He also said Indian investments in development of sea port or land port and transport arteries in Bangladesh will greatly facilitate export and intra-regional trade flows.
"Bangladesh and India are already cooperating in strengthening Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) surveillance in our region; this will help promote a regional environment that both regional and external investors will feel more secure and safe," the central bank governor informed the audience.
Among others Dr Gowher Rizvi, International Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister, Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Information Adviser to the Prime Minister, Professor Dr A A M S Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University, Barrister Harun Ur Rashid, former Bangladesh Ambassador to the United Nations and Professor Dr Gyasuddin Molla, President of Rashtrabiggan Samity, spoke on the occasion.