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Silchar an ideal trade hub: envoy

Silchar, Dec. 29: Bangladesh deputy high commissioner Abida Islam said Silchar had all the ingredients to become the hub of trade between her country and India in the near future.

Abida said this last night while inaugurating the fourth edition of the Silchar International Expo at the Town Club ground here jointly with Kabindra Purakayastha, former Union minister and the BJP MP from Cachar district.

Three countries are participating in the expo — Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Bangladesh alone has put up 26 stalls, mostly of saris, particularly the jamdani variety, along with melamine products and processed food.

She said because of the town’s location, it could easily become the hub of trade between India and Bangladesh along the proposed trans-Asian highway linking Dhaka and the Northeast with Thailand via Myanmar.

She also expressed hope for ”robust” expansion of bilateral trade between the two neighbours, as lowering of export tariffs by India has already resulted in increased transactions.

According to a Union commerce ministry report, during the past five years, trade between the two countries was worth Rs 291.59 crore. In the current fiscal, too, there is a noticeable upward trend, with the report pegging trade value at Rs 29.5 crore.

Islam also hoped that the new visa treaty between proposed to be signed next month in Dhaka these two countries would ensure more liberal visa norms for the people on both sides of the border. The treaty is to be signed during a visit by Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to Bangladesh.