BIMSTEC work­shop on pro­mo­tion of agri­cul­ture trade and in­vest­ment

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

The two days work­shop on Bay of Ben­gal Ini­tia­tive for Multi-Sec­toral Tech­ni­cal and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (BIMSTEC) on pro­mo­tion of Agri­cul­ture Trade and In­vest­ment in Bay of Ben­gal re­gion was or­ga­nized by the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­tural Mar­ket­ing and Co­op­er­a­tives (DAMC), Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forests (MOAF) con­cluded last Thurs­day in the cap­i­tal.

Mr. M.K Dutta, Di­rec­tor of Trade and In­vest­ment, Depart­ment of Mekong In­sti­tute in Thai­land fa­cil­i­tated the work­shop who also shared his Mekong sub-re­gion ex­pe­ri­ence on agri­cul­ture trade and in­vest­ment re­lated to BIMSTEC.

Rec­og­niz­ing the need to en­hance the re­gional agri­cul­tural trade amongst BIMSTEC Mem­ber States, the DAMC pro­pose to or­ga­nize where the mem­ber state had op­por­tu­ni­ties to present a pa­per on agri­cul­ture trade and in­vest­ment of re­spec­tive coun­tries to fa­cil­i­tate dis­cus­sions on the strate­gies to en­hance trade and in­vest­ment within the mem­ber states.

The Di­rec­tor for BIMSTEC, Kun­zang N Tsh­er­ing said that the BIMSTEC na­tions are pri­mar­ily agrar­ian economies with good share of their GDP com­ing from agri­cul­ture.

“There­fore, agri­cul­ture re­quires mean­ing­ful in­vest­ments in po­ten­tial ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween and among the mem­ber coun­tries,” he said. He added that this work­shop is one among the nine iden­ti­fied pro­posed projects.

He said that trade and in­vest­ment sec­tor has been a pri­or­ity area of co­op­er­a­tion in the BIMSTEC process.

The work­shop pro­vided an im­por­tant plat­form

for all mem­ber states of BIMSTEC and del­e­gates to dis­cuss on the agro-busi­nesses link­age to the re­gional value chain through in­no­va­tion, ap­pli­ca­tion and trans­fer of tech­nolo­gies.

Di­rec­tor Gen­eral for DAMC, Ugyen Pen­jor said that “Each mem­ber state has its own strength and weak­nesses in the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try, and it is im­per­a­tive that we com- pli­ment, sup­port, trade and in­vest for mu­tual ben­e­fits.”

Dur­ing the work­shop, par­tic­i­pants shared cur­rent sta­tus and trends in agri­cul­ture trade and in­vest­ment, shared agri­cul­ture trade and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, iden­ti­fied chal­lenges of trad­ing and in­vest­ments and pro­vided rec­om­men­da­tions for each mem­ber state to help them boost trade and in­vest­ments be­tween and among BIMSTEC mem­ber states.

The project will not only help en­hance lo­cal busi­nesses and trade re­la­tions, it will work to­wards achiev­ing food self-suf­fi­ciency which will be cost ef­fec­tive both in terms of eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­ment.

Mean­while, an of­fi­cial from min­istry of eco­nomic af­fairs pre­sented the for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment pol­icy, sta­tus and op­por­tu­ni­ties in the coun­try. An of­fi­cial pre­sented that the min­istry had ini­ti­ated sev­eral poli­cies to en­cour­age for­eign in­vestors that in­cludes eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment pol­icy, fis­cal in­cen­tives, li­cens­ing and pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship.

An of­fi­cial said that why Bhutan should chooses Bhutan as in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion. An of­fi­cial said that in­vestors should choose Bhutan be­cause of po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity, peace and hap­pi­ness, vi­brant cul­ture, hav­ing clean and re­new­able source of power and so on.

Mean­while, the work­shop was at­tended by two par­tic­i­pants each from Bangladesh, In­dia, Myan­mar, Thai­land, BIMSTEC sec­re­tar­iat and one par­tic­i­pant from Sri Lanka.

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