B''desh evinces interest to step up trade with N E states

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Guwahati, Feb 5 (PTI) A high-powered Bangladeshdelegation led by its Commerce Minister Mohammad Faruk Khantoday evinced keen interest to step up trade with the NorthEastern states through trade centres on the Indo-Bangla borderand river ports.

Khan, who called on Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi saidthe volume of trade can be increased to a great extent,particularly through the river ports, which were the cheapestmode of communication for the benefit both countries.

He urged the chief minister to take up the issue with theCentre to remove the impediments in the way and apprised himof the steps initiated by Bangladesh government.

The steps were strengthening infrastructure in terms ofroad and ports that could be put to good use by the N E stateswhich share borders with his country.

"Assam will get access to Haldia port in West Bengal andChittagong and Mongla ports in Bangladesh and it willcontribute to the growth of the state and entire Easternregion as well," Khan said.

"Ever since Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina''s high-leveltalks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year, things aremoving in the right direction.

"What we need is to work at the bureaucratic level toremove barriers and make full use of the rich resources," theBangladesh minister said.

Gogoi said his government had set up border trade centresat Sutarkandi and Mankachar, while the third one will come upsoon at Golakganj.

"We have taken up steps to build infrastructure to helptrade and commerce with Bangladesh and expect the same gesturefrom the neighbouring country," he added.

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