GUWAHATI, Oct 10 - Close on the heels of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India and signing, exchanging and adopting of bilateral agreements between the two countries, Chief Minister Sonowal today asked the Act East Affairs Department of the State government to leave no stone unturned for the success of the India-Bangladesh Stakeholders’ Meet to be held in Guwahati on October 22-23.
Reviewing the preparations being made for the meeting, Sonowal called upon the organisers, the Act East Policy Affairs Department, Government of Assam, and the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries to put in place all necessary arrangements so that the meeting is held in an atmosphere of great cordiality and warmth to put forward the bilateral relations, which are based on deep historical and fraternal ties.
The stakeholders’ meet will primarily focus on creating a level-playing field for the stakeholders of both the countries, like Union Ministers, State Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Ambassadors, Indian and foreign investors, buyers, corporate and high-profile business delegations of India and Bangladesh, which has been tag-lined as trade and connectivity.
The meeting also proposes to discuss and create awareness on the opportunities made available by the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement and the access to Chittagong and Mongla Ports from the North East.
Recalling the shared bonds of history, culture, language, secularism and other unique commonalities that characterise the partnership of both countries, with special reference to Assam, Sonowal said that Assam and Bangladesh had a coordinated network of communication system which existed through road, rail and water.
“However, in course of time, the rail link snapped off, severing rail connectivity between the two geographic entities. The stakeholders’ meet will be a way forward towards reviving the age-old communication between Assam and Bangladesh,” said the Chief Minister.
Sonowal said the meeting, being held in the backdrop of the Act East Policy, should augur well in advancing mutually beneficial partnership in both conventional and non-conventional areas, and ensure that this partnership enhances people-to-people relations between India and Bangladesh, besides strengthening a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries.
The likely key stakeholders of the meeting will be the Ministry of Commerce & Revenue of the Government of India, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry of the Government of Bangladesh, the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Bangladesh, the Ministry of Shipping of the Government of India, the Ministry of Road Transport of the Government of India, the Ministry of Shipping of the Government of Bangladesh, the Ministry of Road Transport of the Government of Bangladesh, the Asian Development Bank, freight forwarding associations, motor transport associations, Inland Water Transport Authority, representatives from Chittagong Port Authority, representatives from Mongla Port Authority and Customs officials.