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Indian businesses keen to invest in Bangladesh's power

Publication Date : 23-07-2012

 

Indian entrepreneurs are interested to invest in the power sector of Bangladesh as the demand for electricity is growing in the country, said the chief of a business delegation from the neighbour.

They also want to invest in gas exploration in Bangladesh if the government opens up the sector to private investment, Adi Godrej, president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, said at a press briefing at a hotel in Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, yesterday.

Godrej leads a 17-member team of businesspeople who came in Dhaka on Friday on a four-day visit.

The delegates already discussed investment potential in Bangladesh's infrastructures, IT, agro-processing, education, healthcare and fertiliser sectors, with government high-ups, Godrej said.

“Responses from different ministries and government agencies are very positive. This is not the end of the journey. We will follow it up very strongly so that we can invest in Bangladesh,” he said.

He said if the Indian companies set up their industrial plants in Bangladesh, they will not only be able to sell the products in Bangladesh and northeast states of India, but also export those to other countries.

The bilateral trade between the two countries has grown significantly after India has given a duty-waiver benefit to almost all Bangladeshi products in November last year, he said.

Godrej and his team leave Dhaka today.

On investment in power, Abdul Matlub Ahmed, president of India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Tata Power, a sister concern of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, has already progressed a lot on their investment proposal.

"There has been a substantial progress in negotiation between Tata Power and the Power Division of Bangladesh,” Matlub said.

He said more than 150 Indian companies are now operating in Bangladesh with investments worth around $4 billion.

Earlier at a meeting with Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith at his secretariat office in the morning, the delegates demanded a special economic zone (SEZ) in Bangladesh for the Indian entrepreneurs.

After the meeting, Muhith told journalists that the government will consider the proposal for an SEZ for the Indian entrepreneurs.

The minister said the government will also consider their demand for allowing the Indian factories in Bangladesh to sell 25 per cent of their products in the local market. At present they can sell 20 per cent of such products in the Bangladesh market.

The government will also look into scope to offer tax benefits to the Indian entrepreneurs, Muhith said.

“We have the opportunity to invest in Bangladesh's logistics industry,” Godrej said at another meeting with the leaders of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).

FBCCI President A.K. Azad urged the Indian business leaders to invest in infrastructure, power, agriculture, education and automobile sectors.

According to data from state-owned Export Promotion Bureau, Bangladesh exported goods worth $498.42 million and imported products of $4.40 billion during the July-May period of the immediate past fiscal year.

In 2010-11, the amounts were $512.50 million and $4.58 billion respectively.

 

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