Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said there is a lot of potential for trade with Bangladesh in the northern part of India, and increasing trade facilities will benefit both countries.
Speaking on Thursday at a foundation stone laying ceremony for a haat (marketplace) on the Kumarghat (Moulvibazar, Sylhet)-Kamalpur (Tripura) border, the 5th such haat on the India-Bangladesh border. The minister said the government is providing all manner of facilities to increase trade and commerce with neighbouring countries. For example, the ports of Chattogram, Mongla, and Payra are now also used for low-cost trade with the northern states of India.
The Industries and Commerce Department of the Indian state of Tripura organised the programme where Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Industries and Commerce Minister Manoj Kanti Deb, Chairman of the Tripura Industrial Development Cooperation Ltd, Shri Tinku Roy, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Vikram Kumar Doraiswami, and Bangladesh Member of Parliament for Moulvibazar-4, Mohammad Abdus Shahid, spoke.
Biplab Kumar Deb and Tipu Munshi hope the border haat will boost trade relations between the two neighbouring countries.
"I believe that people in the border areas are getting an opportunity to buy and sell their vegetables, fruits, spices, cloths, plastic products, fish, melamine products, honey, readymade garments, and crockery products, at border haats, which has generated warmth between the people of both countries," said Tipu Munshi.
The minister said the laying of the foundation stone of the Kumarghat-Kamalpur border haat is a historic event. The two countries agreed to set up this haat during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India in 2009.
Tipu Munshi said the existing four border haats at the Kurigram, Feni, Brahmanbaria and Sunamganj borders, have spawned a lot of interest among the people and thus opened a new dimension in the relations between the people of our two neighbouring countries.
Mentioning India as the second-largest trading partner of Bangladesh, the minister said bilateral trade has grown significantly in the last ten years. Bilateral trade was $5.1 billion in 2010-11, which increased to $9.9 billion in 2020-21, and will grow further in the future.