`Information gap major hurdle to Dhaka-Delhi trade’

March 30, 2014

The Indian high commissioner in Dhaka and Bangladesh officials at a seminar on Saturday said that information gap between Bangladesh and India was one of the main hurdles to facilitate the trade and investments of the two countries. The seminar on ‘Foreign Investment in Bangladesh: Opportunities and Prospects’ was jointly organised by India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Indian high commission at the Ruposhi Bangla hotel in the capital.
‘The physical distance between the two countries is only 30 minutes but the information gap is the problem,’ said the Indian high commissioner, Pankaj Saran.
He said that to move capital was the major challenge in both the countries as they suffered scarcity of capital.
‘There might be visa related complains, but I can assure you that we have eased the process for business visas,’ he said.
He also said that a dedicated helpline was set up for the business travellers from Bangladesh to India.
‘This helpline is not ornamental, it actually works,’ he added.
Bangladesh Board of Investment executive chairman SA Samad said that foreign private investment was mandatory for development.
He said, ‘Our country has posted a growth of around 6-7 per cent for last couple of years. We have to faster that.’
He said the India and China was posting growth around 3 per cent in the past, but could not attract foreign investment.
‘A flood gate of investment opened up for them when they posted growth of about 7 per cent. So if we can speed up the growth to 8 per cent for two to three years, we will also be able to attract foreign investment,’ he said.
He also said that since 2009, the business relation with India had improved a lot comparing to previous period.
‘But we have information gap between the two countries and the board has arranged road-shows in India to minimise that,’ he said.
Power secretary Monwar Islam said that India was becoming one major partner for Bangladesh for last few years.
‘We are currently working to form an India-Bangladesh Power Generation Company which will cost about $1.6 billion,’ he said.
He said that the power scenario of the country improved a lot, but there was no specific time frame when the government would allow new industrial power supply again.
‘Forty per cent of power comes from private sector which is an achievement. We are constantly working to build some big power plants and after that we will be able to go for new industrial power connections,’ he said.
IBCCI president Mohammad Ali said the country had huge business potential in India.
‘And through the Indo-Bangladesh relationship we will explore other business opportunities in the region,’ he said.

-With New Age input

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