Bangladesh commerce minister Tipu Munshi on Monday said that the Bangladeshi government is keen on fostering better ties with India especially the northeastern states, including Mizoram.
“Our Prime Minister is very interested in maintaining good relationship with the Northeast and has a soft corner for Mizoram during the state’s minister visit to the country (Bangladesh),” Munshi said while jointly addressing a news conference with Mizoram commerce and industry minister Dr. R. Lalthangliana in Aizawl on Monday.
He said that around 40,000 Mizo people also live in Bangladesh and the proposed border trade, when formalised, would cement the relationship between the two countries.
He thanked the government of India for its help in the past.
He said that Bangladesh is sincere to its bordering countries.
The visiting Bangladeshi minister said that the Bangladesh government is making massive efforts towards a border trade with Mizoram.
He expressed hope that the border trade would economically benefit both Bangladesh and Mizoram.
Bangladesh will be able to import vegetables and various local products such as tamarind, chili, stone (boulder) and bamboo products, among others, from Mizoram, the supplies of which are short in Bangladesh, he said.
The country can also export plastic products, steel, cement, garments and other local products to Mizoram although the trade items are yet to be considered based on the needs and demands of the people, he said.
Munshi said that plans are being conceived to carry out the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Mizoram through road transport and waterways.
“We will improve road transport and Waterway transport,” he said.
The Bangladeshi minister claimed that the neighbouring country is doing far better than India in terms of economy and its per capita income is comparatively much higher than India.
He said that Bangladesh also surpassed India in other 7 parameters.
Lalthangliana also told reporters that the Mizoram government is taking all necessary steps towards immediate formalisation of border trade between Mizoram and Bangladesh.
The two ministers have jointly visited and verified sites for the proposed border haat at Silsury in western Mizoram’s Mamit district and Integrated Check Post (ICP), which is being developed at Kawrpuichhuah in Tlabung sub division in the southern part of the state on the Indo-Bangladesh border on Saturday.
Three Mizoram districts- Lunglei, Mamit and Lawngtlai share a 318 km long international border with Bangladesh.