New Delhi: Union DoNER Minister of State (I/C) Dr Jitendra Singh on Monday said that new paradigms will emerge post-COVID, with a potential for new breakthroughs in economy, trade, scientific research and several other diverse areas.
Addressing the Indo-Bangladesh “Virtual Conference” organised by ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) and attended, among others, by Minister of Commerce Bangladesh Tipu Munshi, Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma and Ms Riva Ganguli Das High commissioner to Bangladesh, Dr Jitendra Singh said, in the last six years, the North Eastern Region had made up for several lapses of the past because for the first time the region received equal attention at par with the other regions of the country. This had not only instilled confidence among the people but also raised the capacity to engage with other parts of India as well as the countries across the eastern borders, at different levels.
As for Bangladesh, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Indo-Bangladesh treaty for exchange of enclaves, which was accomplished under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had cleared the decks for ease of business, ease of movement and ease of commuting, which was earlier a tedious task. He observed, this should have been done four-and-half decades ago, right at the time of birth of Bangladesh, but was possibly not the priority of the earlier governments.
Referring to traditionally friendly relations between the two countries, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it is far easier to do business with Bangladesh than with many other countries. In addition, he said, North Eastern Region has a critical role to play to boost trade and business between the two countries.
In the emerging scenario, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Bamboo from the North East is going to be an important vehicle of trade not only for India but also for the entire subcontinent, particularly the Eastern countries like Bangladesh. He mentioned several items which could be promoted for popular trade between the two countries. These, for example, included coal, ginger, citrus-fruit, etc. for export and cement, plastic, PVC pipes etc for import, he added.
While offering to provide all possible support from the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh called upon the trade and business organisations like ASSOCHAM to come forward and facilitate PPP (Public Private Participation) model for promotion of new industries and business units with mutual benefit.
While the government can play an enabling role, Dr Jitendra Singh said, trade and industry bodies could come forward to fill the gap of resources and capital. Vineet Agarwal and Deepak Sood from ASSOCHAM also spoke on the occasion.