Tofail urges India to drop trade barriers

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Thursday called upon the Indian government to take necessary measures to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers to boost export to the neighbouring country.

Despite a duty-free market access to India, Bangladesh’s export to the country is very small when it comes to imports.

According to the latest data, in the fiscal year 2015-16, Bangladesh earned $690 million from India, exporting several products while Bangladesh imported products worth $5.45 billion.

“India offers Bangladesh duty-free market access for all products except tobacco, arms and alcohol, but due to tariff and non-tariff barriers, Bangladesh’s exports to India have not reached a desired level,” Tofail Ahmed said while addressing the inaugural of Indo-Bangla Trade Fair in Dhaka.


Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla was present at the function. Tofail Ahmed complained that Bangladesh was unable to export garment products to India due to trade barriers.

He, however, said the trade gap between Bangladesh and India is “natural” as the former has to import different raw materials for manufacturing industry.
“Nobody talks about trade gap with China though that is huge,” he said.

Tofail Ahmed said India is a good friend of Bangladesh since independence and it has to come up with solution in  removing barriers.

Indo-Bangla trade fair is a great effort from India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) to promote bilateral commercial ties between India and Bangladesh, said Shringla.

Around $11 billion investments from India in the power, LNG and port sectors in Bangladesh are in the pipeline while Bangladesh offers Special Economic Zones (SEZ) exclusively for Indian companies to invest, said the indian envoy.

In the last fiscal year, Bangladesh’s exports to India increased around 31% to $690 million while Indian exports to Bangladesh by 6.3% to $5.45 billion.
India is interested in setting up manufacturing industries in Bangladesh, said Shringla.

IBCCI organised the three-day showcase products at Sonargoan Hotel in Dhaka.

About 30 companies including automobile, processed food, banking, insurance, consumer goods, power, paints, electronics, textiles, cement manufacturing and lubricants took part in the expo.

IBCCI President Taskin Ahmed presided over the function and President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry Abdul Matlub Ahmad spoke as special guest.

source: Dhakatribune