Sunday, 5 February, 2023
E-paper

Dhaka, New Delhi agree to start discussion for CEPA soon

NEW DELHI - Bangladesh and India today agreed to start discussions for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) at an early date for benefit of people of both the countries.

The agreement came at the Commerce Ministerial Meeting of both the countries. Bangladesh's Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal led their respective sides at the meeting held here this evening.

The last meeting between the Commerce Ministers of the two countries was held in Dhaka in September 2018.

During the meeting, both the sides held comprehensive discussions to further strengthen bilateral economic relations, according to a statement issued by Indian commerce ministry after the meeting.

They agreed that CEPA will create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in India and Bangladesh.

In addition, the partnership would establish reliable and sustainable Regional Value Chains (RVCs), they added.

A joint feasibility study on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has been carried out after the two countries agreed for exploring a bilateral FTA.

The study confirmed the CEPA would provide a sound basis for substantial enhancement of trade and commercial partnership between the two countries, the statement said.

Besides, the ministers 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 the both sides.

Settlement of trade in Indian rupees, strengthening connectivity and trade infrastructure to realise the full potential of India-Bangladesh economic ties were also discussed during the meeting.

The two ministers also agreed to work together in order to resolve the issues raised during the course of the meeting and ensure that the outcomes expected in the Joint Statement by the two leaders--PM Narendra Modi and PM Sheikh Hasina--in September 2022 are achieved in letter and spirit at the earliest, the statement added.

Minister Tipu Munshi arrived here this afternoon on a two-day official visit at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal.