Racing to a new prosperity

Updated: 2014-06-04 06:50

By Emanuel John (China Daily)

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Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group, one of India's major conglomerates, agreed that the plan offers huge

Racing to a new prosperity

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opportunities for intra-regional cooperation.

"Seamless connectivity, enhanced trade facilitation, connectivity through deep sea ports, joint exploration of common resources offer opportunities for accelerated economic growth, the reduction of poverty and higher standards of living in the BCIM region," he said. "There is huge scope to enhance intra-BCIM trade integration through measures such as further reduction of tariff barriers, addressing non tariff barriers, and through the deepening of trade facilitation."

Godrej, who is also a former president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, explained that the region is the gateway between South and Southeast Asia, and as such, can play a major role in enhancing India's trade and investment exchanges with its neighbors.

"Moreover, China has been the fastest-growing economy for many years. It is the second-largest in terms of GDP size, and ranks top in terms of total exports," he said. "Bilateral trade between India and China, which was a mere $3 billion at the turn of the century, is projected to reach $100 billion by 2015. Currently, China is India's largest trading partner, and India is among China's top 10 trading partners."

To express his strong support for the project, Godrej was there to witness the start of the BCIM Car Rally, which he described as a historic event.

"The rally was organized with the primary objective of creating awareness about how this route can promote trade, commerce, investment and people-to-people contact in the BCIM region," he said. "By my reckoning, the car rally has stimulated the interest of all stakeholders," he adds.

Victor Banerjee, a celebrated Indian actor who has worked in both Hollywood and Bollywood, took part in the Myanmar section of the event. He said the rally served as "a test drive" for an exciting journey ahead, and that the prospects for closer economic integration and the resultant economic benefits are enormous.

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