CEPA to help boost economic ties with India: Momen

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said the proposed comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) will usher in a win-win situation for Bangladesh and India in trade and commerce.

He urged the Indian businessmen to invest in the two specialised economic zones of Bangladesh – namely, Mongla and Mirsharai dedicated to Indian investors.

Momen stated that the government of Bangladesh, based on its development aspirations, especially emphasises economic diplomacy to achieve Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Muzibur Rahman's dream of ‘Shonar Bangla’.

He made the remarks while delivering his keynote address in the seminar "Economic Diplomacy" in New Delhi, arranged by the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Momen stressed economic diplomacy as the most significant element of diplomacy in the face of ongoing global economic unrest and recent political developments in Europe.

He stated that Bangladesh, once known to be a basket case, after 50 years of its independence is now the 41st largest economy in the world and set to be the 25th largest by 2035.

The minister noted that Bangladesh – once known for femine, food and aid dependency – is now not only self-sufficient in food production but also one of the largest producers of rice, grains, vegetables, some fruits and freshwater fish.

He said Bangladesh proved its capacity to undertake mega projects like the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, the country's longest bridge by its funding which is scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on June 25.

Momen expressed satisfaction as Bangladesh and India have made remarkable progress in bilateral cooperation during the last decade and emphasised complementing each other's necessities and priorities for the overall development of the people of the countries.

He noted that bilateral trade grew steadily over the years and crossed $16 billion last year despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The minister emphasised that the businessmen and the private investors of the two countries should look beyond the border and work as partners towards building a prosperous and economically vibrant region.

Momen arrived in New Delhi in the afternoon to attend the 7th JCC meeting, to be co-chaired by the foreign ministers of Bangladesh and India Sunday.

The Bangladesh foreign minister is expected to interact with the concurrently accredited ambassadors to Bangladesh with residents in New Delhi and call on important dignitaries of the Indian government during the visit.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Muhammad Imran, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami, Mashfee Binte Shams, secretary (east) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Confederation of Indian Industry President Sanjiv Bajaj spoke on the occasion.

They emphasised enhancing business connections and partnerships between the two countries for mutual prosperity and progress.

Source: United News of Bangladesh