Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan has said the leading entrepreneurs are contributing a lot to the country’s overall development by creating income-generating scope for people of all levels, specially the low-income group.
He came up with the remarks on Thursday while addressing the launching ceremony of TVS King Deluxe three-wheel auto-rickshaws in Bangladesh at the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka.
IFAD Motors Limited of IFAD Group is launching the CNG-run three-wheelers of TVS Motors in the local market. The companies also signed a contract at the program.
Terming their introduction in the local markets at affordable rates one-step forward in creating convenient atmosphere for small businessmen, the minister said small traders would benefit a lot by purchasing the newly launched auto-rickshaws as this would break the monopoly in the market.
Previously, people had to spend Tk8 lakh to buy an auto-rickshaw, but now they have a chance to own a three-wheeler for only Tk4 lakh from IFAD Motors, Shajahan added.
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla was present at the programme as a special guest. IFAD Motors Chairman Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu, Managing Director Taskin Ahmed, TVS Motors Senior Vice-president (International Business) R Dilip and IFAD Group Managing Director Tanvir Ahmed also attended the launching program.
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Guests at the launching ceremony of TVS King Deluxe three-wheel auto-rickshaws in Dhaka on January 11, 2018 | Courtesy
Addressing the program, according to a statement issued by the Indian High Commission, Shringla said: “Bangladesh is a promising market for automotive companies. Bangladesh’s economy has grown at an annual rate of over 6% in the last decade. This year Bangladesh’s economy is expected to grow at 7.4%. With rapid economic growth and improving road infrastructure, the demand for commercial and passenger vehicles including three wheelers in Bangladesh is growing rapidly.”
“Given its capacity, competence and geographical proximity to Bangladesh, Indian automotive industry is in an ideal position to meet Bangladesh’s demand for automobiles. India is the sixth largest producer of automobiles in the world with annual production of over 25 million vehicles and exports of around 3.5 million vehicles in 2016-17. Automotive sector accounted for 7.1% of India’s GDP in 2016-17.
Saying the Indian industry was also increasingly moving towards more environment friendly vehicles, the high commissioner added: “Bangladesh market has attracted the attention of a number of Indian automotive companies which are not only exporting to the country, but have also invested or are investing in setting up assembly or manufacturing plants here.
“Ashok Leyland, in partnership with IFAD group, opened a truck assembly plant in Dhamrai last year. IFAD has also started utilizing the Mongla port for import of Ashok Leyland vehicles through the sea route under the Coastal Shipping Agreement between India and Bangladesh.”
Regarding the agreement between TVS Motors and IFAD Group, he said: This is another great example of the growing commercial relationship between our two countries. In the last few years we have seen a substantial increase in our bilateral trade.”
Harsh Vardhan Shringla also said that both countries were also working on developing infrastructure of the land customs stations at the India-Bangladesh border.