Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has sought more Indian investments in Bangladesh to reduce trade deficit saying that Indian investments and diversifying export products of Bangladesh can help reduce this trade gap.
In order to increasing trade between India and Bangladesh, the commerce minister said effective market excess by removing non-tariff and para-tariff barriers, improving the physical facilities, mutual recognition of certificates and standards and better connectivity need to be ensured, reports BSS.
He was speaking at 'Bangladesh India Business Meeting' organized by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at a hotel in capital.
Speaking at the meeting Visiting Indian Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitely said India has a large population and it has concentrated on skill development and India can extend cooperation to Bangladesh in this area through exchange programs.
President of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Pankaj Patel, FBCCI President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and FBCCI director Shahed Reza, among others, addressed the meeting.
Tofail Ahmed said over the period of the last six years bilateral trade has registered an impressive growth and total trade between Bangladesh and India has increased from US$3.15 billion in fiscal year 2009-2010 to US$6.4 billion in fiscal year 2016-17.
However, this growth was mainly driven by substantial increase of import into Bangladesh from India, which also led to further deepening Bangladesh trade deficit. India is a vast country having huge exportable products, Tofail added.
"We have a limited number of exportable products and hence we need to narrow down the trade deficit by diversifying our export and inviting Indian investment in Bangladesh," he said.
"I firmly believe that we have enormous potential in the fields of trade and investment and we need to harness those potentials for the well-being of the people of both the countries," the commerce minister said.
The private sector cooperation between Indian and Bangladesh will be further strengthened through different programmes, he said, adding that Bangladesh is now a rising economic country in the Asia "Since 2009 Bangladesh and India bilateral relations have reached a new height and the political leaders have made significant success to carry forward Bangladesh-India relation in every sphere of their engagements with particular focus on Bangladesh-India trade and economic cooperation," he said.
Arun Jaitley said both the countries are not only sharing similar histories but also land boundaries, civilization, political and economic relations and that is why the progress is closely related.
He said India is a large market and it always welcomes any investment.
"I think we can use an organised forum to explore the possible potentialities for the welfare of the people of the two countries," Arun added.