Business Desk : Emphasizing on signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) among the member states of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Thursday said the FTA will open a new horizon in trade for the region. "Sincere cooperation from the BIMSTEC member states is needed for signing a FTA. If the FTA is signed, it will open a new horizon in the trade sector of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan," the minister told the inaugural function of a two-day BIMSTEC Expo in Mumbai, India. Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in association with Indian Foreign Ministry organized the expo titled "Integrating BIMSTEC-2020 and BIMSTEC Expo-2020" at World Trade Center in Mumbai, India, said a press release here. Tipu said the BIMSTEC is effectively working for enhancing the commercial and economic cooperation among its member states and added that the Integrated BIMSTEC-2020 will play a vital role in this regard (in FTA signing). Underscoring the need for reducing the trade cost in supplying goods to the consumers at a tolerable level of price, the minister urged all concerned to take such initiative which will benefit the consumers. Additional Secretary of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Dr Virander Kumar Paul addressed the inaugural function as the guest of honor while ICCI Director General Dr Rajeev Singh delivered welcome. Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute Ali Ahmad, Investment Commissioner of Bihar State of India RS Srivastava and Managing Director of Export-Import Bank of India David Rasquinha addressed the function as special guests. Director of BIMSTEC Secretariat Dr Damaru Ballabha Paudel presented a keynote paper in the function.
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