Agartala, April 24 (IANS) The US wants better trade and economic relations between India and Bangladesh through the northeastern region which has “huge scope of progress in future”, an American official said here Tuesday.
“India-Bangladesh trade and economic activities centering the northeastern region have huge scope of progress in future,” said Kolkata based US Consulate General’s American Center director Jeffrey K. Reneau.
Interacting with students and teachers of the Tripura (Central) University, he said: “Indian government should further increase its trade and economy with Bangladesh using its northeastern region and ‘look-East Policy’.”
“Making Tripura and other northeastern states a ‘hub’, the countries in the Indian subcontinent can be connected between them and increase trade and business for their mutual interest and development.”
He told reporters of the need for opening an American consulate in the northeastern state of Tripura, which is surrounded by Bangladesh and shares 856-km international border.
Accompanied by other officials of the US Consulate General from Kolkata, Reneau visited the Akhaurah India-Bangladesh checkpost, which is the second biggest checkpost along the 4,096-km long India-Bangladesh border after West Bengal’s Petrapole-Banepole.
“If an American consulate was to be set up in the northeastern region, it would ease the visa problems of many people specially the students and youths who are keen to go to US for studies, training and various other purposes,” the official said.
Also, for the first time the American government will reach out to the people of the northeast India with the music, history, art and culture of the US.
The US consulate of Kolkata Tuesday organised “Taste of America Festival” in Agartala, first time in India’s northeast.
The one-day festival highlighted services offered by the US Consulate General in Kolkata for the residents of Tripura and other northeastern states.
It included a ‘Spelling Bee’ competition for school students, a knowledge of US quiz competition, debates, collage, a musical performance and a film show.
The American officials said that there would also be seminars and counseling on higher education facilities in the US and advice on formalities for submitting visa applications.