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CWBTA Eastern India Trade Summit 2019



Lastnewsbd, 17th July: CWBTA Eastern India Trade Summit 2019 was held in the state of West Bengal on July 15-16.

The Confederation of West Bengal Trade Associations (CWBTA), the largest trade body of eastern India, is organizing a mega B2B trade summit in Kolkata to boost regional trade in which five of the seven BIMSTEC member countries would be participating.

The two-day “CWBTA Eastern India Trade Summit 2019”, to be inaugurated by West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, would be attended by 200 trade and business delegates from Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries representing various trade bodies and chambers of commerce.

FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim, President of India Chamber of Commerce, Former President of FBCCI Nitol-Niloy Group Chairman Kar Bahadur Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President of Confederation of West Bengal Trade Association (CWBTA) Sushil Poddar inaugurated the conference held on 15th July at Grand Hotel. In the West Bengal state finance minister and industrial trade minister. Amit Mitra could not attend due to illness. However, in his office, he greeted the traders at the 25-minute telephone conference.

India is focusing on the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) as a part of its Act East Policy to form regional blocs. Trade representatives from five of the seven BIMSTEC member countries would be participating at the CWBTA Eastern India Trade Summit 2019. The Indo-Bangladesh bilateral trade is set to cross the US $10 billion.
The organisers said, “We aim to make Kolkata the hub for expanding bilateral trade with the regional countries and beyond.”

Over 200 delegates from Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan are participating.

Sushil Poddar, President, and CWBTA said: “The regional trade in eastern India has tremendous potential and can easily be doubled in revenue terms over the next few years. Kolkata would be the hub and centre of growth. With the Act East Policy of the Government and efforts for a free trade agreement in the Bay of Bengal region, trading is poised for a major leap with huge growth in products and commodities.”

“It is estimated that implementation of a free-trade agreement can help intra-BIMSTEC trade grow up to USD 240 billion from the currently estimated USD 40 billion. West Bengal stands as one of the frontline states to benefit from rapid developments taking place,” he said.

FBCCI president Sheikh Fazle Fahim, at the end of the conference, noted that in the financial year 2017-18, Bangladesh’s bilateral trade with India was 9.5 billion US dollars. Since CWBTA has more than 10 million business members so through this conference, new horizons of Bangladesh’s exports will be exposed in West Bengal and SAARC, BBNAN and BIMSTEC countries.

Head of leading business group from Bangladesh and founder president of India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI), Abdul Matlub Ahmad said, “The countries of the region should work towards removing bottlenecks and find new ways of promoting trade and business.”

Leading Member of Nepal Chamber of Commerce Rajesh Kaji Shreshtha said, “Regional trade is the buzzword and the trade bodies of the countries of the region must come together and leverage the dividends of regional trade which can increase manifold.”

Pawan Jajodia, Working President, CWBTA, said: “This is the first time a regional trade summit involving the neighbouring countries and Thailand is being organized by CWBTA that will provide a platform for expanding regional trade through business to business (B2B) sessions and deliberations. With huge trading potential in the horizon, CWBTA is trying to facilitate trade and spread awareness among the traders of the potential of doing trade beyond borders.”

N Kapadia, Chairman of the Summit, said: “In this era of tariff wars, it is essential to form regional trade blocs. GST has conveniently reduced the cascading effect of tax-costs. The import-export product basket is expanding amid growing purchasing power and regional consumption. The countries of the region and local traders should come together to leverage the new opportunities of bilateral trade,”

Rajesh Bhatia, Hon. Gen. Secretary of CWBTA, said: “Cooperation among neighbouring countries is paving way for bringing together trading communities on both sides of borders. This will have a long-term effect.”

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