Long-term Indian investment in Bangladesh will ensure greater economic activity: PM
Dhaka, Sep.7 (ANI): Recognising Bangladesh's sensitivity to the large bilateral trade deficit that it had with India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that he has committed his government to providing greater market access to Bangladeshi products in India by removing both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.
He said that with India issuing a notification removing all 46 textile tariff lines of greatest sensitivity to Bangladesh from the negative list for Least Developed Countries under SAFTA, there would be no quota restrictions on these items.
"In my view, what is of greater long-term importance is increased Indian investment in Bangladesh. This will not only lead to greater economic activity but also increase Bangladeshi exports to India and other countries. We should work on both fronts not only to reduce the trade deficit but increase and even multiply total trade," Singh said in his address to faculty and students of Dhaka University.
Stating that the world is in rapid ferment, and adding that globalization and the growing inter-dependence of economies are creating new challenges and opportunities, the Indian Prime Minister said: " It is imperative for India and Bangladesh to find new pathways of cooperation to deal with the common challenges of development."
"The governments of both countries have the unfinished agenda of providing adequate food, adequate shelter and adequate healthcare to their people; protecting them from floods and other natural disasters and empowering them to earn a decent living," he added.
Commenting on the Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Development, Singh said the agreement commits the two governments to work together in areas such as agriculture, health, education and culture.
"We have identified other areas where cooperation will provide direct benefit to our people. These include power transmission, management of common rivers, road, rail and water transportation and protection of the environment. We have mutually agreed on projects worth over 750 million US dollars under the 1 billion US dollar credit line India has provided to Bangladesh. These projects, I sincerely believe, will help in strengthening Bangladesh's transport infrastructure, especially the railway sector," he added.
He also said that steps would be taken to further strengthen cooperation in the area of flood forecasting, disaster warning and disaster management.
The management of our common resources is vital for sustainable development in both countries, Singh said. (ANI)
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