Dipu Moni visits Tripura Nov 10-11
Aiming to boost cross-border trade with India's northeastern states, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni is set to embark on a two-day visit to Tripura on November 10, official sources said.
Strategies to further improve trade between Bangladesh and northeast India and development of trade-related infrastructure along the border would top the discussion agenda during the tour.
A team comprised of high-ranking officials and a 30-member business delegation will accompany the minister.
Matlub Ahmed, leader of India-Bangladesh Chamber and Commerce of Industry, will lead the Bangladesh trade delegation, stated officials.
Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, Matlub said they would explore opportunities for exporting more Bangladeshi items.
The delegation will contemplate on enhancing trade with Indian southeastern states and also hold talks with their counterparts on trade, investment, transit and transhipment facilities.
Dipu Moni will enter Tripura's capital Agartala through Akhaura immigration centre and go to the Raj Bhavan, where Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and his cabinet colleagues will get acquainted with her.
She will move for Sabroom, Tripura's southern subdivision, by a chopper on the following day.
At Sabroom she will open the 'suspended' Land Customs Station (LCS) to pave way for boosting bilateral trade between Sabroom and Ramgarh in Bangladesh.
Local industrialists and traders are expected to meet the Bangladesh foreign minister to confer further development of trade and investment. She will also hold an exchange of views meeting with regional traders on how to enhance trade and remove barriers.
According to foreign ministry sources, Bangladesh currently exports garments, cosmetics, fish, raw-jute, soap, juice, spices, brick, cement, PVC pipe, CI sheet, rod and various consumer products to this zone of India.
Besides, they said, the country has immense potential to export GI pipe, MS products, poultry, vegetables, ceramic, sanitary ware, melamine and kitchenware, steel utensils, toiletries, electric, plastic and aluminium products.
Dipu Moni is expected to attend the foundation laying ceremony of a bridge to be constructed by India over Feni river in southern Tripura, said ministry sources. The bridge will enable access to Chittagong port for carrying goods and heavy machinery for the land-locked northeastern region.
The proposed bridge, to be built at a cost of Rs 13 crore, would be the business lifeline of northeast India and would also connect the Southeast Asian countries, added ministry officials.
The two countries last March entered into a crucial deal to allow Indian goods to be transhipped to Tripura and other northeastern states through Ashuganj-Akhaura and Agartala.
The Bangladesh government has allowed India to use Chittagong port, about 75 kilometres from Sabroom.
It has also granted the neighbouring country access to Mongla and Ashuganj ports to ferry heavy machinery and other goods in between rest of India and northeastern states through Bangladesh.
The FM is scheduled to lay the foundation of an edifice to be built in southern Tripura commemorating the supreme sacrifice of Indian soldiers and Bangladeshi freedom fighters during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.
The huge war memorial park will be constructed at Chottakhola in Belonia subdivision of South Tripura district, bordering Bangladesh.
During the Liberation War, a base camp of Mukti Bahini was set up to wage war against Pakistani soldiers in Chittagong, Noakhali and parts of Comilla districts.