INDIA-BANGLADESH JOINT WORKING GROUP ON TRADE HELD
REVISED BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENT SOON
Date : 25 Mar 2004
Location : New Delhi
The second meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Working Group on Trade was held here on 23-24 March, 2004. The Indian side was led by Shri S. Ramasundaram, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Govt. of India and the Bangladesh side was led by Mr. Elias Ahmed, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of Bangladesh.
The following were the main decisions of this meeting:
Road map for testing requirements for food products, etc.: Both sides agreed on a time bound programme to recognise each other's testing labs for commodities such as, food products, agro products, textiles, leather, etc.
Road map for BIS certification of Bangladesh products: This issue which came up in the last meeting with specific reference to Bangladesh Cement exports to India, has progressed significantly. BIS is in the process of inspecting the Bangladesh Cement plant in mid-April, 2004. At this time, the Indian High Commission would arrange a round table meeting with potential Bangladesh applicants of products in the mandatory certification list of 109 products notified by BIS, to clarify their doubts on the spot.
Revised Bilateral Trade Agreement: Both sides agreed on a common text on the revised trade agreement, which has been under discussion for nearly one year. Both sides agreed to have the revised agreement signed at a high level at a mutually convenient date.
Bilateral Free Trade Agreement: Both sides agreed to continue their discussions on the possibility of a bilateral FTA between India and Bangladesh. The recent signing of the SAFTA by all SAARC countries and BIMSTEC by India was also noted by both the sides.
Both sides noted with satisfaction the resolution of the long pending Sun Pharma issue by the Bangladesh Health Ministry. Both sides also expressed satisfaction at the successful conduct of the SAARC Trade Fair in Bangladesh in December 2003.
Both sides noted the proposal of FICCI to organise a 'Made in Bangladesh' Exhibition in Kolkata sometime in early September 2004.
The meeting was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere and marked by frank exchange of views on both sides.