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ED: Reaching our trade potential

  • Published at 09:18 am March 10th, 2021
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A stronger South Asian region means a stronger Bangladesh

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent statements, where she stated that political boundaries should not become physical barriers to trade, are not only extremely wise and thoughtful, but are necessary and timely, and ought to be heeded by every sector in Bangladesh.

It is an undeniable fact that trade in South Asia has never reached its full potential. This is due to several factors, and while the situation is wrought with complexities, above all else, it is the hesitation in opening up that has been the primary barrier for inter-regional trade to flourish in South Asia.

To that end, the inauguration of Maitri Setu (Friendship Bridge) over Feni River, which connects Tripura of India with Ramgarh of Bangladesh, is a landmark moment for not only Bangladesh and India, but the rest of the region, in understanding the value of cooperation to reach our trade potential.

Moving forward, this is something that all countries in the region must address. All countries in South Asia may be termed as emerging economies; some may be further ahead in their development journey, but none can claim to have reached their full potential. To that end, fulfilling our regional trade potential will prove to be a significant boon.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaking frankly on this issue shows the committed and selfless leadership she has built her reputation around. Yes, as with every PM, she is concerned about her country’s development and it is naturally the first priority, however, she also realizes that a stronger South Asian region means a stronger Bangladesh as well.