Wednesday, 29 March, 2023

India to scale up bilateral trade and investment with Bangladesh, says envoy

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 23rd February, 2023 03:44:33 PM
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India to scale up bilateral trade and investment with Bangladesh, says envoy

High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Pranay Verma reaffirmed India's commitment to development partnership and cooperation with Bangladesh to scale up bilateral trade and investment, and promote people-to-people exchanges. 

He underlined sustained ongoing efforts on both sides to strengthen connectivity and trade infrastructure at our land ports and to gradually decongest and facilitate smoother movement of goods and people across the border.

The Indian envoy made the remarks during his visit to Petrapole-Benapole Integrated Check Post (ICP) at the India-Bangladesh border on Thursday (Feb 23), said the High Commission of India in Dhaka.

Verma met with senior officials from both sides and discussed various issues related to border management, trade facilitation and infrastructure development.

The Petrapole-Benapole border is a crucial gateway for trade between India and Bangladesh, with over 70 percent of the land-based bilateral trade passing through this land port.

The border has been operational round the clock since August 2017.

Given the importance of Petrapole-Benapole ICP to the movement of passengers, a new Passenger Terminal Building with modern amenities was inaugurated in September 2021.

A second Passenger Terminal Building is also under construction to cater to growing cross-border movement of passengers.

In addition, a second cargo terminal gate is going to be constructed with grant assistance of Government of India, which is expected to double the cross-border throughput of vehicles per day.

During his visit, High Commissioner Verma noted the importance of Petrapole-Benapole ICP and the efforts being made to enhance its capacity for facilitating movement of goods and passengers.

Bangladesh is India’s largest development partner in the world and the biggest trade partner in South Asia. In the last five years, bilateral trade has grown from USD 7 billion to around USD 18 billion.

Bangladesh’s exports to India have crossed the US $1 billion mark consecutively over the last three years, reaching nearly US $2 billion in 2021-22. India, with its diverse market, has emerged as the top export destination for Bangladesh in Asia.

“Our connectivity and trade infrastructure development projects with Bangladesh are based on our long-standing friendship and our shared conviction that progress and prosperity of our two countries and two peoples are interlinked,” reads the press release of the HCI.