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Direct Cargo Shipments ‘historic step’ for Indo-Bangladesh trade

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Bangladesh’s Chittagong port. Image source: lightcastlebd.com

Dhaka, Bangladesh: For the first time in their history as nations, neighbors Bangladesh and India last week launched direct cargo services that would enable goods shipped by sea to reach each other’s ports in a maximum of four days, officials say.

Previously, goods sent from India took more than three weeks to reach Bangladesh’s Chittagong or Mongla ports because shipments first had to pass through Colombo or Singapore, Bangladesh shipping minister Shajahan Khan said.

“I have inaugurated the service on Tuesday and the first Bangladesh cargo ship left Chittagong Thursday for Indian ports. This is a historic day for all of us,” Khan told reporters.

“The businessmen used to take at least 25 days to carry goods to and from India and Bangladesh. Now, with the coastal shipping service in place, we can export to and import from India in only four days. This reduced time and cost would automatically boost trade between the two neighbors,” Khan said.

Businessmen said the direct routes would also boost trade between India and Bangladesh and allow India to ship products to its seven northeastern states via Chittagong port.

“The coastal shipping is a very good move to increase trade in the sub-region comprising Bangladesh, landlocked northeastern states of India, Nepal and Bhutan,” Q.K. Ahmad, the former president of the Bangladesh Economic Association, told BenarNews.

Bangladesh and India signed an agreement during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka on June 6, 2015, followed by the signing of a protocol in November, which cleared the way for direct maritime cargo services.

The countries’ bilateral annual trade volume is worth more than U.S. $6.6 billion, according to a commerce ministry figure.

Cargo ships from Bangladesh’s Chittagong, Narayanganj, Ashuganj, Paira, Khulna, Mongla and Pangaon (near Dhaka) ports can carry goods to seven Indian eastern coastal ports in Kolkata, Haldia, Paradip, Vishakhapatnam, Kakinada, Krishnapatnam and Chennai and vice versa, according to the agreement papers.

On Thursday, Bangladeshi shipping company Neepa Paribahan dispatched its first cargo ship laden with cotton and textile items from Chittagong port to the Indian port of Krishnapatnam, company CEO Sirajur Rahman told reporters.

Before this week, a ship from India’s Kolkata port could reach Chittagong ports in two days, but companies had to pay the rate based on a 25-day transit via Singapore or Colombo.

“And businessmen must charge for every second. The higher cost results in higher commodity prices to the consumers,” Rahman said.

Khwaza Moinuddin, a columnist and former president of Economic Reporters’ Forum in Bangladesh, explained that Bangladeshi and Indian businessmen used to ship cargo between the two countries, via Singapore and Colombo, for economic reasons.

“The volume of cargo generated in different Indian ports for Bangladesh was not adequate to load a big ship, as a majority of the export-import business was done through land ports. So all the small consignments of cargo were sent to Colombo or Singapore, where businessmen jointly hire big Bangladesh-bound ships,” he told reporters.

Mainuddin said the introduction of the coastal shipping service would allow small ships to shuttle to all ports located along India’s east coast and carry the goods to and from Bangladesh.

Easing overland bottlenecks

The text of the bilateral deal stipulated that the maritime shipping services between India and Bangladesh would enable the movement of cargo to the Northeastern states through Chittagong, and thereafter by road or river routes.

“The deep draft ports on the eastern coast of India can be ‘hub ports’ for the onward transportation of cargo to Bangladesh via the coastal mode. The Indian ports will attract enhanced cargo and also the overall transportation cost to Bangladesh will get reduced,” the document said.

The rapid growth of India-Bangladesh trade has resulted in congestion at the main Petrople-Benapole land port. The traffic congestion on the Bangladesh side of the land port has emerged as one of the biggest impediments to export-import trade, it said.

(The article was originally published in benarnews.org)

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Dell and Alienware to Launch New PC Gaming Devices to India

Dell also refreshed its G Series gaming laptops with the launch of the new G7 gaming system. With a design that is 19.9mm thin, it is the thinnest G Series laptop to date

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Refreshing its PC gaming portfolio in India, Dell and its subsidiary Alienware on Monday launched Alienware Area-51m, Alienware m15 and Dell G7 devices for the gamers in the country.

Originally unveiled at the CES 2019 in January, the devices have now made their way to India.

Price of Alienware Area-51m starts at Rs 299,590 and is available on dell.co.in while the Alienware m15 starts at Rs 178,399. The Dell G7 15 is available for Rs 157,399 and is also available on dell.co.in.

The new portfolio would be available in retail and multi-brand stores across the country from April 1.

“By an estimate, $1.1 billion would be the size of the Indian gaming industry by 2020. Community engagement, augmenting gaming as a profession and latest technological innovation is how we are defining the gaming landscape in India,” Anand Subramanya, Director, Product Marketing, CSB Dell India, told reporters here.

Alienware Area-51m is also the world’s first gaming laptop that supports upgradable NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics, 64GB of memory and 2.5Gbps Ethernet technology.

Dell laptops
Dell laptops. Representational image. Pixabay

“This is an exciting time for PC gaming all over the world as well as in India. We are delighted to introduce ground-breaking, high performance gaming machines like Area-51m and m15,” added Frank Azor, Vice President and General Manager, Alienware, Gaming and XPS.

Focusing on portability in gaming machines, the Alienware m15, is the thinnest and lightest 15-inch Alienware laptop, that is aimed at gamers on-the-go. A powerful machine for gamers, it has 8th generation Intel Core i7 processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 and 2070 MQ design graphics cards.

Both Alienware Area-51m and Alienware m15 offer “Cryo-Tech v2.0” — an advanced thermal technology that maximises performance and keeps these machines cool.

Also Read- This Smartphone by Vivo Creates The Record of Fastest Selling Smartphone in Company’s History

Dell also refreshed its G Series gaming laptops with the launch of the new G7 gaming system. With a design that is 19.9mm thin, it is the thinnest G Series laptop to date.

Powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce 20 series RTX graphics card, and 144Hz refresh rate panel, the G7 optimises demanding AAA game titles and can also be utilised for everyday use. (IANS)