India & Bangladesh agree to meet at an early date for trade deal


Piyush Goyal, the minister of commerce for India, and Tipu Munshi, the minister for Bangladesh, met on Thursday in New Delhi and decided to quickly begin negotiations for a trade agreement.

"Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution and Textiles, Government of India, and Tipu Munshi, Commerce Minister, Government of Bangladesh met in New Delhi today," the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement. "Both sides agreed to starting the CEPA discussions at an early date," according to sources.

The most recent gathering of the two nations' commerce ministers took place in September 2018 in Dhaka. According to the trade ministry, extensive conversations were made between the two parties to further improve their commercial ties.

"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 commerce ministry said.

Both parties also concurred that CEPA will improve living conditions, increase employment chances, and expand social and economic opportunities in Bangladesh and India. Additionally, the collaboration would create trustworthy and long-lasting regional value chains (RVCs).

In order to realise the full potential of India-Bangladesh economic ties, the ministers discussed a number of issues of shared interest, including removing non-tariff barriers and port restrictions, reopening border haats, harmonising and mutually recognising standards and procedures on both sides, settling trade in Indian rupees, strengthening connectivity and trade infrastructure, among other things.

The two parties concurred to cooperate in order to address the issues brought up during the meeting and make sure that the outcomes anticipated in the Joint Statement issued by the two leaders, PM Narendra Modi and PM Sheikh Hasina, in September 2022 are realised as soon as possible, in letter and spirit.

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