Home / News / India /  India, Bangladesh to soon start talks for free trade pact. Details here

With an aim to boost twi-way commerce and investments, India and Bangladesh on Thursday agreed to start negotiations for a free trade agreement at an early date. The decision was taken in a meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Bangladeshi counterpart Tipu Munshi.

A joint feasibility study on the agreement, officially dubbed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), has been carried out after the two countries agreed to explore the possibility of negotiating a trade pact, as per PTI reports.

In an official statement, the Commerce ministry said, "study confirmed the CEPA would provide a sound basis for substantial enhancement of trade and commercial partnership between the two countries... Both sides agreed to start the CEPA discussions at an early date."

In such an agreement, the two countries either significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them. Besides, they ease norms for promoting trade in services and attracting investments.

The bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh increased to USD 18.2 billion (USD 16.2 billion exports and USD 2 billion imports) in 2021-22 as against USD 10.8 billion in 2020-21, PTI reported.

"Further, both sides agreed that CEPA will create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in India and Bangladesh," it added.

Bangladesh is India's biggest trade partner in South Asia. India is the second biggest trade partner of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the two ministers also discussed various issues of mutual interest, including removal of non-tariff barriers and port restrictions, re-opening of border haats, harmonization and mutual recognition of standards and procedures on both sides, settlement of trade in Indian rupees, strengthening connectivity and trade infrastructure.


(With PTI inputs)









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