Bangladesh has emphasised on strengthening business alliances like the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) to increase the volume of trade and investment in the countries situated along the shore of Indian Ocean.
“The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world’s oceanic divisions. Around half of the world’s total number of container-laden ships, one third of the cargo traffic, two third of the oil tankers move through this channel. This area is very significant from the trade perspective. We need to increase the volume of trade and investment through ensuring proper use of natural resources and safe passage of merchant ships,” Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said while addressing a conference in Colombo on August 31, according to a message received in Dhaka on Sunday.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Singaporean Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Nepalese Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara also addressed the meet, titled the ‘Second Indian Ocean Conference-2017.
Director of Institute of Chinese Studies, India, Ashok Kantha presided over the first special plenary session of the conference.
“Bangladesh under the firm leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina believes that it is possible to increase trade and investment by maintaining friendly relations with others. All the parties concerned can enjoy the benefit of this,” Tofail added.
Representatives from 29 countries took part in the three-day conference. The first conference was held last year in Singapore.
source – BSS