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BIMSTEC Trade in Goods Pact will be signed by 2019, says Islam

Monday, September 10, 2018
By A Business Reporter

M. Shahidul Islam, Secretary General, BIMSTEC Secretariat (Middle) being felicitated by Vijay Kalantri, President AIAI and Vice Chairman, WTC Mumbai (Right) and Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, WTC Mumbai (Left).

“I am very happy to note that the BIMSTEC Panel Discussion is happening in Mumbai. BIMSTEC is a great opportunity for people who are living in the region to work together and trade with rest of the world. India’s Prime Minister has recently attended the BIMSTEC Summit in Nepal. We feel that this is a huge market that can emerge for all the member countries in the region. This bloc will make sure that we share ideas and bring new business opportunities for each other. Therefore, I wish all the best to the organisers of this event,” said Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu in his goodwill video message for a Panel Discussion on ‘Unlocking BIMSTEC Potential: Trade, Investment and Connectivity’. The Panel Discussion was organised jointly by All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and World Trade Centre Mumbai at WTC Mumbai last week.

Delivering the keynote address for this event, M. Shahidul Islam, Secretary General, BIMSTEC Secretariat said, “In the backdrop of the recently concluded Fourth BIMSTEC Summit and renewed interest on BIMSTEC bloc, the subject matter of today’s discussion could not have been more timely. I am optimistic that BIMSTEC countries will be able to sign the Agreement on Trade in Goods and Customs Cooperation Agreement within 2019. It will be wise to include All India Association of Industries (AIAI) in BIMSTEC Business Forum.”

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Vijay Kalantri, President All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai and said, “Today, Intra-BIMSTEC trade is hardly USD 40 billion and there is tremendous scope to enhance this. Unlike other regional blocs, member countries in the BIMSTEC are developing countries with huge complementarities. Most importantly, BIMSTEC countries must set up BIMSTEC Bank, on the lines of New Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Also, the EXIM Banks of the BIMSTEC countries must introduce credit lines to promote trade and investment.”

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