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Dipu Moni to visit Tripura to boost Bangla-India trade

Agartala, Oct 22 (IANS) Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni will visit Tripura November 10-11 to boost cross-border trade and business with India’s eight northeastern states.

‘During Dipu Moni’s two-day visit, strategies to further improve trade between Bangladesh and northeast India and development of trade-related infrastructure along the border would be discussed,’ a senior Tripura government official told reporters.

‘A team of senior Bangladesh government officials and a business delegation are expected to accompany Dipu Moni. It will be her first visit to northeast India,’ he said.

Industrialists and traders in the region would also meet her and discuss further development of trade and investment in both sides.

The two countries last March signed a crucial agreement to allow Indian goods to be transshipped to Tripura and other northeastern states through Bangladesh.

As per the landmark agreement signed during Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi early this year, India will construct a bridge over Feni river in southern Tripura to get access to the Chittagong port for carrying goods and heavy machineries for the land-locked northeastern region.

The Bangladesh government has agreed to allow India to use the Chittagong port, about 75-km from Tripura’s southern border town Sabroom.

‘The proposed bridge, to be build at a cost of little over Rs.13 crore, would be the trading lifeline for not only for the whole of northeast India, but also southeast Asian countries,’ said A.K. Mangotra, additional secretary in the union commerce ministry.

The Bangladesh government has already agreed to allow India to use Mongla and Ashuganj ports to ferry heavy machineries and other goods in between rest of India and northeastern states through Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Commerce Minister Col.(retd.) Faruk Khan has said his country will facilitate setting up of markets along the border with India soon, media reports said.

During her visit, Dipu Moni will inaugurate a commemorative edifice being built in southern Tripura in memory of Indian soldiers and Bangladeshi freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives during 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

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