Dhaka: Union commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said on Saturday Indian firms were ready to invest $3.5 billion in Bangladesh’s private sector.
“We have $3.5 billion in the pipeline for investment in Bangladesh in the private sector,” Sharma told a joint news conference with his Bangladesh counterpart Faruk Khan in Dhaka.
He said Indian entrepreneurs were interested in investment in telecommunication, pharmaceuticals and food processing sectors in Bangladesh.
Sharma who arrived along with a number of Indian businessmen in Dhaka on Saturday on a two-day visit earlier held talks with the hosts on boosting trade and investment between the two neighbouring countries.
Bangladesh commerce minister Khan said India had agreed to accept 25% more clothing items from Bangladesh to raise the annual import to 10 million pieces from 8.0 million pieces earlier.
Sharma said India would pay transit fees to Bangladesh as per the international norms and practices for using its territories.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to India in January last year agreed to allow transit to India’s eastern states using Bangladesh’s territory and ports.
On the issue of proposals to use Bangladesh’s Chittagong and Mongla ports by India Sharma said: “It’ll unleash immense potential.”
India has given a $1 billion credit to Bangladesh to upgrade facilities and infrastructure for the proposed transit, Bangladesh finance ministry officials said. Sharma also said on Saturday his country was ready to ship 500,000 tonnes of grain to Bangladesh under government to government deals.
“We are ready to ship 300,000 tonnes of parboiled rice and 200,000 tonnes wheat to Bangladesh,” Sharma told the news conference.
The shipment is expected to start by next one week when Bangladesh decides through which port the consignment should be handled, Sharma said without giving details.