Assam Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary. File image: Northeast Now

Assam industries and commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary urged the Central Government for a bilateral trade agreement with Bangladesh.

This he said should be in line with the Indo-Sri Lankan Free Trade Agreement.

Patowary was of the opinion that it will boost the bilateral trade through land route in the Northeast.

Addressing a joint meeting of the Board of Trade and the Council of Trade Development and Promotion in New Delhi on Thursday, Patowary said that the bilateral trade with BBIN and ASEAN countries has reached an all-time high.

He also said therefore the trade between the north-eastern region and neighboring countries through the surface land route must be optimized.

The meet was organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

It was chaired by union commerce and industry minister, Piyush Goyal.

The minister laid down in details the infrastructure facilities of the 4 Land Custom Stations (LCS) in Assam with Bangladesh and Bhutan may be upgraded Electronic Cargo Tracking System and Central Quarantine System may be provided to boost the trade and reduce the congestion at the land ports.

“The access of the Chittagong and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh to vessels of Northeast will boost up trade and commerce,” stated Patowary.

“This path-breaking initiative has fulfilled a long-pending requirement of the region,” he added.

He also mentioned about the introduction of air cargo movement from Guwahati with direct flights to South and South East Asian cities under UDAN (International) and the construction of an air cargo terminal at Guwahati Airport.

The Board of Trade sought views of various stakeholders such as government departments, states, exporters and industry members on ways to boost exports of goods and services.

It may be mentioned that minister of state for commerce and industry, Hardeep Singh Puri and Som Prakash, commissioner and secretary of Industries and Commerce Department, Dr K K Dwivedi were also present in the meeting.

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