Strengthening Value Chain Linkages to Help Bangladesh and India Recover: Webinar

30 June 2020

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized a digital conference on “Doing Business with Bangladesh: Opportunities and Challenges.” The virtual conference discussed emerging business and investment opportunities and the challenges of bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Speaking at the webinar, Mr. V Muraleedharan, India Minister of State for External Affairs, underscored the mutual desire from Bangladesh and India to further strengthen their relationship through cooperating in areas that can benefit people in both nations. He expressed confidence that bilateral cooperation can help them overcome the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI) identified the Bilateral Value Chain Initiative (BVCI) as the way forward in Bangladesh-India business relations. Under a proposed memorandum of understanding between FBCCI and CII on BVCI, more raw materials from India will be transported to Bangladesh for production, benefitting both nations. “This will initiate targeted and focused cooperation,” highlighted Mr. Sheikh Fazle Fahim, President of the FBCCI. Light engineering, agro-processing, chemical, apparel are some of the sectors identified for BVCI priority.

In 2019, bilateral trade between the two countries reached $9 billion. The FBCCI President said they look forward to working closely with their counterparts in India to address new challenges and cooperate in rebuilding and recovering from the crisis.

Ms. Riva Ganguly Das, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, also attended the webinar. She emphasized that the geographical proximity and road and river connectivity through ports between the two countries provide many opportunities that can be leveraged. She cited the example of cooperation between Indian and Bangladesh railways which turned the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity by ensuring a smooth flow of goods through railway links that exist between the two countries.

 

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