Mukul for enhanced transport facilities

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma while attending the Bangladesh Investment & Policy Summit 2016 said the positive growth story happening in Bangladesh is inseparable and it would certainly generate hope and positive growth story in Northeast too.


Speaking at the inaugural session, the Chief Minister  thanked Bangladesh Prime Minister  Sheikh Hasina for giving this honour of representing people of India in general and the North East region in particular in the Summit.


Stating about the efforts made by the North Eastern Chief Ministers to impress upon the Government of India to re-strategize the trade and business relations with the Bangladesh for the mutual benefit of both sides, Sangma expressed his happiness that many bilateral initiatives have been taken up in this direction.


He referred to CNN report that Bangladesh’s economy is growing at the rate of over 6 % in the last seven years and is projected to grow as the second fastest growing economies among the 11 developing countries.


As Meghalaya shares 443 km long border with Bangladesh, with the mighty Brahmaputra and other rivers connecting both the sides along with the presence of number of Land Customs Stations to facilitate smooth supply of raw materials to support Industries in Bangladesh, the Chief Minister mooted an idea to jointly invest in a “Comprehensive multi-mode transport” to promote trade and business between the two countries.


He also informed how the new National Highway 127B which would connect North Bengal with the western part of Meghalaya across Brahmaputra with the longest bridge (17 km) is expected to serve as “trade corridor between Bhutan, Nepal, North East India and Bangladesh”. 


He also mentioned that the State Government with the support of the Union Government is actively working on a strategy to mitigate the climate change adaptation related problems and highlighted about the various missions (Aquaculture, Apiculture, Horticulture, etc) initiated by the State Government that would not only create livelihood opportunities to the people but also help the State to keep its sustainable ecology. 


With increased bilateral relations between the two countries, Dr. Sangma felt the need for utilizing the proximity of sea route via Bangladesh to promote the trade and business in North Eastern India.


The Chief Minister also spoke of the possibility of using the Sylhet International Airport for promotion of tourism in Meghalaya and also the possibility of using this facility to promote exports of the high-value flowers and horticulture products from Meghalaya.


The Executive Chairman, Board of Investment of Bangladesh Government, in his address fondly remembered the support extended by Capt. William Sangma, the then Chief Minister of Meghalaya in 1971 for setting up of their first Jai Bangla Office during their liberation movement. He also reiterated the fact that there exists ‘complementarities’ for both sides and what is needed is to maximize and harness this potential.