Bangladesh and India have agreed to set up six more border haats along their common border in the next six months. The agreement was reached at a two-day Bangladesh-India commerce secretary level meeting that ended here today.
Commerce secretary Shubashish Bose led the Bangladesh delegation at the meeting while Rita Teaotia led the Indian delegation. The meeting expressed satisfaction over the operation of the existing four border haats along the Bangladesh-India border.
Mr. Latif Bakshi, senior information officer at the commerce ministry here, said India has proposed to form a Comprehensive Economic Partnership with Bangladesh. Both sides also agreed to gradually ensure infrastructural development and necessary facilities of the land customs ports along the Bangladesh-India border alongside ensuring speedy offloading of goods from those land ports.
Besides, on request, the Bangladesh delegation informed the Indian side that the proposal for allowing more exportable items from India through the land customs ports of Bangladesh is under scrutiny.
Bangladesh requested India to allow its airports for exporting Bangladeshi goods to any third country while the two countries decided to form CEOG Forum to create a business-friendly environment through boosting bilateral relations between the businesses of the two countries.
The Bangladesh delegation thanked the Indian side for already the recognition of the certificates of 21 food items by the BSTI side by side it requested India to give recognition to the rest six items.
The Bangladesh commerce secretary requested his Indian counterpart to withdraw the anti-dumping duty imposed by India on the jute goods and hydrogen per oxide. Besides, a request was also made to India for extending cooperation to enhance the capacity of Bangladesh on anti-dumping duty.
On the other hand, India requested Bangladesh to provide duty facilities for exporting Indian sugar to Bangladesh. India is the second largest trade partner of Bangladesh. The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries rose to $6.8 billion in the last fiscal year (FY17).
Two-way trade between the two countries is still in favour of India as Bangladesh imported goods worth $6.13 billion in the last fiscal against the exports of $672.4 million.
Although India has provided duty-free and quota-free access to some 25 Bangladeshi products, the trade deficit is yet to be reduced in such pace due to various barriers, including insufficient infrastructures and various non-tariff barriers.
The Indian delegation is scheduled to depart here on Saturday. The last commerce secretary level meeting was held in New Delhi on November 15-16 in 2016.