Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh, the country’s Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has expressed optimism that the trade relations between the two countries would reach new heights in the 50th year of Bangladesh’s independence.
“We want to take the Bangladesh-India trade relations to such a position in our 50th year of independence which would remain memorable among the people of both countries. We’re hopeful of resolving our existing problems. There is also strong resolve from the two countries to further expand investment and trade relations,” The Independent (Bangladesh) quoted Munshi as saying.
Munshi met Indian Commerce and Trade Secretary Anup Wadhawan on Sunday at his secretariat office.
India’s High Commissioner in Dhaka Vikram Doraiswami was also present.
Bangladesh commerce ministry Additional Secretary (FTA) M Mohidul Islam, WTO cell Director General Hafizur Rahman were also present, The Independent (Bangladesh) reported.
Munshi said at a press briefing that “a new door” of commercial relations between the two countries would be unveiled.
He said that the issue concerning anti-dumping duty that India has imposed on jute and other Bangladeshi products would be resolved through discussions.
The Commerce Minister informed that efforts are on to sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India to further enhance the scope for trade.
He said that the Indian commerce secretary has requested Bangladesh to modernize Bangladesh customs management and Benapole Land Port and added that the government is also working to this end.
Noting that the existing border huts have created much more interest among the people of the bordering areas, Munshi said the initiative has been taken to set up a border hut along with Mizoram and increasing the number of border huts, The Independent (Bangladesh) reported.
The Commerce Minister said that India has expressed its interest to increase investment in Bangladesh as the Indian entrepreneurs want to invest in Bangladesh’s food processing and automobile industries.
Replying to a question, he said the government would sign the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with various countries to successfully face the “challenges derived from the country’s graduation from the LDC status”.
“Newer trade opportunities will be created through signing of various PTAs and FTAs and that’s why we hope that we’ll not fall into any problem in international trade following LDC graduation,” he added.
He said that initiatives have been taken to stockpile essential items ahead of the month of Ramadan. “We hope there will be no shortage of essential items while the price will also not go up.” he added.