INDIA-BANGLADESH BORDER HAATS TO BE INAUGURATED IN JUNE
US$ 3.5 BILLION INDIAN INVESTMENT IN PIPELINE FOR BANGLADESH
TARIFF-FREE QUOTA FOR APPAREL EXPORTS ENHANCED TO 10 MILLION PIECES
Date : 23 Apr 2011
Location : New Delhi
The Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Shri Anand Sharma, during his ongoing Bangladesh visit addressed the need to further strengthen economic integration between the two countries. He noted that private sector investment from India to Bangladesh to the tune of US $ 3.5 billion is in the pipeline. Increased Indian investments in Bangladesh will provide employment and value addition for Bangladesh exports to the rest of the world.
Both sides noted that trade has increased significantly between the two sides. Bangladesh exports have increased 6 times in the last few years. In the first three quarters of the current year, it has reached the level of US $ 359 million, which is higher than the exports of US $ 304 million last year.
India and Bangladesh agreed to take further steps to promote trade and economic cooperation. These include
(a) India has offered a tariff-free quota of 10 million pieces of apparel exports from Bangladesh, marking an increase of 25% over previous years.
(b) Countervailing Duties was lifted on all jute exports from Bangladesh.
(c) Strengthening of infrastructure at borders, including construction of Land Custom Stations and Integrated Check Posts, particularly at Petrapole and Agartala such that trade is facilitated. A Working Group on Infrastructure will coordinate implementation.
(d) Stepping up schedule for completion of border haats in Meghalaya for a formal launch in June 2011.
(e) India offered assistance for the upgradation of BSTI such that their certification and level of standards improve. It has also been agreed to provide training facilities for capacity building.
(f) India welcomed the submission of DPRs by the Bangladesh side for infrastructure projects under the US $ 1 billion LOC. These projects are expected to be implemented shortly.
(g) India has offered assistance in the construction of the bridge over river Feni, including the construction of the connecting road on the Bangladesh side.
(h) India renewed its offer to export 300,000 tonnes of par-boiled rice to Bangladesh and finalise options for lifting of the grain at the earliest.
(i) India welcomed the offer of use of Chittagong and Mongola ports and noted that this will provide tremendous benefit for trade and development of Bangladesh and the North-East of India. India is awaiting Bangladesh’s response to the draft modalities that have been proposed.
Shri Anand Sharma is visiting Bangladesh from April 23-24, 2011 at the invitation of Bangladesh Commerce Minister, Lt. Col.(Retd.) Muhammad Faruk Khan. He met his counterpart and held delegation-level talks, this morning. Later in the afternoon, he will meet with Food and Disaster Management Minister and Foreign Minister, and will call on the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh tomorrow morning.
The Minister noted with satisfaction with the steady development in trade and the economic relations between the two countries, which has received stimulus after the historic visit of PM Sheikh Hasina to India in January 2010, during which she and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh concluded the Joint Communiqué.
Both sides agreed to intensify discussions at official and technical levels to provide further impetus to trade and economic exchanges.