Meghalaya CM meets Hasina, discusses business avenues


Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who is on a four-day visit to Bangladesh, on Thursday called on Premier Shiekh Hasina and discussed trade oppurtunities between the state and that country, a government official said here.

Sangma is in Bangladesh to pursue expansion of trade and tourism to improve the economy of Meghalaya as it shares a 443 km-long border with that country but has a meagre .7 per cent share of the USD 10 billion trade that India has with it.

Sangma and Hasina during the hour-long meeting discussed at length business avenues between the state and the neighbouring country and on developing the trade ties with the North East region, the official said.

He invited Bangladesh to participate in the North East Food Show scheduled to be held here between December 4 to 6.

The chief minister said that different countries and more than 300 companies will particiapte in the food show. “We will have the biggest names in the industry, policymakers, farmers, traders and suppliers. There will be up to 3000 farmers who will participate and it will be a great opportunity. I invite participants from Bangladesh to also take part in the food show”.

He said, “We felt there is some gap in the system, in our communication and our initiative and that we need to work on them … We want to give the entire industry, the sectors, the movement and trade that are already taking place a better and formal structure and facilitate wherever necessary”.

Earlier in the day the delegation led by Sangma met Pran Agro Ltd chairman Ahsan Khan Chowdhury and sought the Bangladesh company’s investment in Meghalaya.

“I was really glad to learn about their food products and I was really impressed to see the kind of enterprise and the vision he (Khan Chowdhury) has.

“We want to see what products from Meghalaya can be used in his processing plant or if he can set up industries in our state to process the products that we have. That will be a great opportunity,” he said.

Sangma said he will pursue with Bangladesh government to erect a memorial structure for Meghalaya freedom fighter U Tirot Sing at the Dhaka jail, where he had died in custody in 1835, the official said.

Tirot Sing was the independent king of Nongkhlaw chiefdom in Khasi Hills and was captured by the then British Army in 1833 and died in custody in Dhaka jail. The state was annexed by the British in 1835.