Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Tuesday urged India to remove all tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to help Bangladesh increase its exports to the neighbouring country.
The minister made this call while addressing a discussion titled ‘Bangladesh-India Trade Relations’ at Sonargaon in the city.
“I strongly urge my counterpart to undertake all possible legitimate actions on their part in order to influence the final outcome,” Tofail Ahmed.
Indian Commerce and Industries and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsha Vardhan Sringla and Prime Minister’s Adviser on Private Sector Salman F Rahman were, among others, present at the discussion.
Observing that Bangladesh and India have enormous potential in the field of trade and investment, Tofail said: “That’s why I hope that the relationship between the two neighbours will increase further in the future”.
He said Bangladesh always recognises India’s all-out support and assistance given during Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War. “We attach great importance on maintaining the historical relationship with India as well as improving it further.”
The Commerce Minister said the existing cordial relations between Bangladesh and India is being reflected in growing bilateral trade and investment. “Total trade between the two countries increased to US$ 9.49 billion in fiscal 2017-18 from US$ 3.15 billion in fiscal 2009-10,” he said.
Tofail said Bangladesh-India joint venture investment is increasing here day by day while many Indian companies have already established their factories in Bangladesh.
“I hope more Indian investment will come in the future. An exclusive economic zone for Indian entrepreneurs is being facilitated currently by the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA),” he said.
Suresh Prabhu said Bangladesh has already achieved a remarkable success in all socioeconomic indicators, which is unique in the world.
He hoped that the mutual relationship between India and Bangladesh would increase further in all sectors, including trade and investment.