The Business Standard News - 02 October 2023
Bangladesh and India discuss preparations to start talks for free trade agreement
An official-level meeting of the Joint Working Group on Trade (JWG) between Bangladesh in India was held last week in Dhaka.
Bangladesh and India have discussed preparations to start talks for a free trade agreement between the two countries to promote economic ties.
It was discussed during an official-level meeting of the Joint Working Group on Trade (JWG) between Bangladesh in India which was held last week in Dhaka, reports The Hindu.
According to the Indian Commerce Ministry, the meeting "discussed a host of bilateral issues such as removal of port restrictions, groundwork on commencement of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), harmonisation of standards, and mutual recognition of standards, supply of essential commodities to Bangladesh."
These meetings are held on an annual basis to discuss key trade-related issues and explore opportunities for economic and technical collaboration, promotion, facilitation, expansion and diversification of trade between the two countries.
CEPA is a kind of free trade agreement, under which two trading partners significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them. Besides, they also ease norms to promote trade in services and investments.
During the meeting, the two sides also deliberated upon issues related to the development of road and rail infrastructure, regional connectivity through multi-modal transportation and creation/ strengthening of infrastructure in Land Customs Stations/ Integrated Check Posts, border haats.
The bilateral trade has dipped to $14.2 billion in 2022-23, from $8.13 billion in 2021-22.