Dhaka, Feb 17 (IANS) Bangladesh is now India's biggest trade partner in South Asia, the Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said.
Speaking at the opening of the fourth Indo-Bangla trade fair on Thursday, Shringla said, "In the last 15 years Bangladesh's exports to India have grown tenfold and India's exports to Bangladesh have grown six times."
"Bangladesh is now India's biggest trade partner in South Asia," bdnews24.com quoted him as saying.
Organised by the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) at the Pan Pacific Sonargoan Hotel here, the trade fair aims to promote bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India.
Companies from both India and Bangladesh are also exploring "new opportunities" for investing and setting up joint ventures in each other's country, Shringla said.
The total bilateral trade in 2015-16 was worth $6.14 billion. Indian investments registered with Bangladesh Investment Development Authority are more than $3 billion.
"Around $11 billion of investments from India in the power, LNG and port sectors in Bangladesh are in the pipeline," the High Commissioner said.
India has also been offered exclusive sites by Bangladesh to establish special economic zones, which may be at Mongla or Chittagong, he added.
In November last year, IBCCI had organised a fruitful discussion on enhancing India-Bangladesh Waterways Connectivity, which saw good participation from both the countries, the Daily Star reported.
"In an important development in waterways and sea connectivity between India and Bangladesh, the first container ship will arrive from Kolkata to Pangaon Inland Container Terminal tomorrow (Friday) under the Coastal Shipping Agreement between our two countries," Shringla said.
Around 60 companies from India and Bangladesh, from diverse sectors like automobiles, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, are participating in the fair.