INDIA-BANGLADESH SECRETARY LEVEL TRADE TALKS HELD
Date : 25 Mar 2003
Location : New Delhi
India-Bangladesh Commerce Secretary level talks were held in New Delhi on 24th and 25th March, 2003 preceded by Joint Secretary level talks on 23rd March, 2003. These talks were held in a very warm and cordial atmosphere reflecting the close bilateral relation between the two countries. The two delegations were led by Shri Dipak Chatterjee, Secretary, Department of Commerce, Government of India and Mr. Suhel Ahmed Chowdhury, Secretary Ministry of Commerce, Government of the Republic of Bangladesh, respectively.
The Bangladesh delegation also called on Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Law & Justice, Government of India, on 25th March, 2003.
India pointed out the enormous delay in convening a meeting of the Joint Group of Experts (JGE) of the two countries to consider issues relating to Border Trade, Trans-shipment of Indian goods through Bangladesh territory and deepening of tariff concessions. Bangladesh responded that these issues would be discussed in the upcoming Joint Economic Commission Meeting in July, 2003 in Dhaka.
The Indian side announced its willingness to grant duty free access to Bangladesh products on 39 tariff lines. This includes 11 out of 121 tariff lines from a request list of 2002 and 28 out of 191 tariff lines from an earlier request list from Bangladesh. India also announced that further duty free concessions could be considered under the framework of a bilateral Free Trade Arrangement. Bangladesh agreed to initiate discussion on a Free Trade Arrangement.
India and Bangladesh also set up a Joint Working Group headed by two Joint Secretaries of their respective Commerce Ministries to look into complaints of Non-tariff and Para-tariff barriers from either side and take steps to address them.
India and Bangladesh agreed on a common list of Land Customs Stations on the India-Bangladesh border and agreed on a time schedule to improve their infrastructure facilities.
India and Bangladesh further announced that they would be concluding a Bilateral Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA) in the near future. India pointed out that the inordinate delay in granting the drug manufacturing licence to a joint venture in Bangladesh promoted by Sun Pharma of India was having an adverse impact on the flow of Indian investments into Bangladesh.