BIID EXPO & DIALOGUE
A GOLDEN GATE of opportunities for INDIAN businesses in BANGLADESH
Bangladesh is not only India’s neighbor, but also offers huge business and investment opportunities for Indian businesses.
Government of Bangladesh facilitates and provides 18 one stop support to the potential investors from India with the facilities for land allocation, gas/power/electricity connection, working capital, and fast track documentation including visa facilitation.
With this encouragement, currently, the volume of bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh is about $6.6 billion; there are estimates that the trade potential is at least four times the present level.
The two countries see themselves converging around a sense of indispensability, as well as leading economic partners whose collective strengths can transform not just their own economies, but also that of the region and the world. As the second fastest-growing economy in the world in 2016 with more than 7 per cent growth, Bangladesh has a firm footing in the global apparel markets and is now a role model for the fighting climate change, among others.
These triggers are matched by the contributions of industry bodies that have been nurturing economic relations and undertaking various initiatives with their counterparts in Bangladesh.
India and Bangladesh are pushing for faster and higher growth and this merits a close look at extending support to Bangladesh for infrastructure projects such as improving road capacity in Bangladesh Cooperation in upgrading some customs posts, as well as establishing border markets for vendors along the 4,096-km boundary along with efforts to integrate the region’s economies with road, rail and shipping routes can yield rich dividends.
Connectivity offers a game-changing opportunity for India and Bangladesh. This is pivotal to India’s connectivity with its north-eastern region and with countries of Asean. Equal emphasis on physical and institutional connectivity between India and Bangladesh will facilitate the exploration of more opportunities through trade and investment.
While energy has witnessed new highs in an exponential expansion of bilateral cooperation, there are rich prospects for an India-driven proposal for a joint venture among BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) countries. This is a mega cooperation initiative which complements India’s ongoing investments in Energy & Power joint ventures in Bangladesh.
On the energy front, new opportunities are opening up for energy companies in India in LNG and supply of petroleum products. On a broader canvas, there is tremendous potential held out by the initiative on sub-regional cooperation amond BBIN nations that envisages transport and transit facilitation between the two countries through a motor vehicle agreement. There is much that industry on both sides can work on such as containerised cargo movement, technical assistance and capacity building requirements.
The scope has just got wider with India looking at an expanded sub-regional cooperation among BBIN countries to cover initiatives in rail which would open opportunities in land ports and land customs stations, air connectivity as also the power sector. Industry can be a constructive partner in tapping the opportunities for power trade and inter-grid connectivity cooperation in future power projects, and water resources management among the four countries.
Indeed, Bangladesh and India are at a historic juncture of diplomacy embedded in a rich matrix of history, religion, culture, language and kinship. As we look ahead at a future of shared prosperity, the onus is on our industry and governments to carry forward the aspirations of our people.
In addition to this, Bangladesh enjoys duty free access to India, European Union, Canada and Japan and is an attractive destination for potential exporters. India and Bangladesh have signed the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement. This encourages Indian companies to explore the opportunities in Bangladesh.
The major sectors of Indian interest include Power & Energy, Infrastructure, Agro Based, Textile, Pharmaceuticals, Leather Machinery, Chemical industries, Engineering and Green Building Service Industries.
India is Bangladesh’s second largest import source. Also, India provides tariff free access to Bangladeshi products. Indian manufactures can tap the access by investing and manufacturing in Bangladesh.
In the last couple of years, some Indian companies have come with direct and joint investments in Bangladesh, reflecting their growing interest.
This is particularly important in the context of both the Make in India initiative as well as India’s Act East Policy. The BIID EXPO & DIALOGUE offers tremendous scope for sharing of experiences and greater business engagement.