Tipu hopes Bangladesh-India trade relations to reach new height

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi today expressed his high optimism that the Bangladesh-India trade relations would reach a new height in the 50th year of Bangladesh’s independence.

“We want to take the Bangladesh-India trade relations in such a position in our 50th year of independence which would remain as memorable among the people of both countries. As far as we’re hopeful of resolving our existing problems, there is also strong resolve from the two countries to further expand investment and trade relations,” he said.

Tipu also said that a new door of commercial relations between the two countries would be unveiled.

The commerce minister said this at a press briefing after the visiting Indian Commerce and Trade Secretary Anup Wadhawan met him at his secretariat office here.

Indian high commissioner in Dhaka Vikram Doraiswami, commerce ministry additional secretary (FTA) M Mohidul Islam, WTO cell director general Hafizur Rahman, were present, among others.

Answering to a question, Tipu said that the anti-dumping duty that India has imposed on jute and other Bangladeshi products would be resolved through discussions.

He said that the Indian commerce secretary has requested Bangladesh to modernize Bangladesh customs management and Benapole Land Port and adding that the government is also working to this end.

Mentioning that the existing border huts have created much more interest among the people of the bordering areas, Tipu said initiative has been taken to set up border hut along Mijoram border alongside increasing the number of border huts.

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 another 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.

The commerce minister informed that efforts are on to sign Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India to further enhance the scope for trade.

He informed that initiatives have been taken to stockpile essential items ahead of the month of Ramadan while supply of such essential items will be make double through state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) alongside the private sector businesses.

“So, we hope there will be no shortage of essential iteams while the price will also not go up.”

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)