Assam requests Bangladesh for Pran unit

Assam Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary has requested Dr. AK Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, to help in setting up a unit of PRAN-RFL Group in Assam as the company has a large consumer base in the state.

Pran is the most versatile and diversified food & beverage company in Bangladesh and has got a wide range of about 200 brands under its wings.

The company, which is known for its variety of products in the food and beverages sector in Bangladesh, had  set up its first factory in India in 2015 —in Agartala, Tripura. 

Pran is available in 145 countries and thriving every day in those markets, including Asian, African and European regions.

A special dialogue was held between industry associations and business leaders with Dr. AK Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in presence of Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary in Guwahati yesterday.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Momen deliberated on the similarities on food, attire, language and socio-economic riverine cultural life between Assam, India and Bangladesh. 

He stated that the diplomatic relationship between Bangladesh and India is at the zenith point for which the prime ministers of each country – Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi – have termed it as the ‘golden chapter of bilateral ties’. 

Dr Momen mentioned that Bangladesh has the highest number of people travelling to India as tourists and for medical treatment. He said that Cox Bazar is being developed as an industrial hub and that the international airport in Sylhet is being upgraded which will help in cross-border trade and business. The Foreign Minister added that the increasing trust between the two neighbours will help to work in tandem for mutual growth and called upon for G2B and B2B in both the countries.

Dr. Momen assured that Bangladesh is focused on improving people-to-people contact and strengthening connectivity to improve trade and business through waterways, railways and airways. 

Momen also talked with the Assam Governor on a collaborative approach to increase the volume of trade from Assam to Bangladesh and vice versa.

The Foreign Minister also informed the Governor about the potential of water resources in Bangladesh and the steps that the Bangladesh government is taking for optimum use of the resources for resurgent regional connectivity. They also discussed projects related to digital connectivity.

Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said, “The expansion project of 500 TPD methanol and 200 TPD formaldehyde plant of Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) at a total cost of Rs. 1,337 crore is almost complete and Assam can soon export these chemical products to Bangladesh.”

He also proposed to the Bangladesh foreign minister to set up a unit of PRAN-RFL Group in Assam as the company has a large consumer base in the state.

Minister Patowary called upon the Bangladesh Ministry officials to offer necessary support and cooperation for an increase of the volume of trade from Assam using river transportation to reduce costs and boost trade. 

Industry associations like FICCI, ICC and business leaders highlighted some of the trade issues in terms of port and capital goods restrictions, land custom stations, collaborative research works, etc.

Also read: Repatriation of Myanmar displaced needed for SE Asia stability: Bangla min



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