Use container services at land ports, riverways: India
Mar 15, 2007 - 12:44:40 PM

Dhaka, March 15 - Introduction of container services at land ports and riverways would help reduce considerably the non-tariff barriers - now affecting India-Bangladesh trade, India's high commissioner here has suggested.

'Multiple checking, long wait of trucks at land ports and some other types of hassle will simply disappear, if container transportation is introduced,' said Pinak Ranjan Chakrabarty addressing a meeting at the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry - here on Wednesday.

He delivered the same message to top business and trade representatives of Nepal and Bhutan who met here on the eve of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation - Car Rally that took off Thursday at Cox's Bazar in south-eastern Bangladesh.

MCCI organised the discussion on 'Promotion of Trade and Economic Cooperation' at its conference room with a delegation of Confederation of Indian Industry - participating in it.

Laying emphasis on introduction of a multimode connectivity, Chakrabarty said multiple road, rail, river and sky connectivity would also help reduce non tariff and para-tariff barriers.

Such connectivity among the Saarc nations remains inadequate in exploring multilateral trade in the region, he said, hoping that the maiden Saarc Car Rally could open a pathway for establishing such connectivity.

Bangladeshi businessmen expressed keenness to invest in India and pointed to barriers to their investments in India. The Indian envoy said: 'A formula is being worked out to open Bangladeshi investment in India soon.'

Latifur Rahman called upon the Saarc leaders to take immediate and fruitful initiatives for implementing the South Asian Free Trade Agreement - process.

'If the next summit shows the requisite political commitment, there will not be a better time to kick-start the Safta implementation process,' he added.

MCCI Economic Advisor A.R. Bhuiyan made a presentation on 'Promoting Cooperation in Saarc.'

He said Sapta was ineffective because concessions offered on most of the products were irrelevant, margin of preference was low and non-tariff and para- tariff barriers restricted exports among the Saarc nations.

He pointed out that the long timeframe for tariff reduction might make the Safta irrelevant.

Shamsher S Mehta, director general, CII, Chiranjivi Nepal, senior consultant, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Sherab Tenzin, chief of foreign trade, Royal Government of Bhutan, and S. Manzer Hossain, resident director, Tata International, Bangladesh, participated.

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