The first ever Global Investment Summit in Assam which concluded in Guwahati on Sunday, saw the announcement of some major collaboration between Bangladesh and Assam.
Assam which shares a 262 km border with Bangladesh had troubled relations with the neighbouring country, mostly over the issue of influx from across the border.
However, it seems that this summit is likely to mark a new beginning in the relation between Assam and Bangladesh.
Amir Hussain Amu, Union Industries Minister of Bangladesh who led the delegation from his country maintained that the people of India and Assam specifically have been great friends of Bangladesh.
He said, “This summit is a very timely initiative taken by the government of Assam which will help in strengthening the relation between two countries.’
It was announced in the summit that India will dredge the Brahmaputra from Sadiya in Assam and Chittagong port in Bangladesh for which investment of Rs 40, 000 crores have been earmarked.
Discussions are also underway for the 765 KV power transmission line from Assam to the eastern part of India through Bangladesh (Bornagar-Parbatipur-Katihar) through which a portion of power will be supplied to Bangladesh.
Regarding the trade prospects with Assam, Amu said, “Bangladesh can export items like Ready Made Garments (RM), chemical fertilizer, cosmetics and toiletries, pharmaceuticals, ceramic and melamine table ware, footwear and leather goods, poultry, biscuit, fish, dry fish, Jamdani saree, jute yarn, furniture, seed etc. In return, they can import from Assam stuff like agricultural products, spices, herbs, tea, petroleum (crude oil), natural gas, renewable energy, hydroelectricity, stones etc.”
He also commented that there thirty five border trade points between Bangladesh and Northeastern states like Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya which need to be revitalized.