Standard testing, tariff barriers roadblocks in Indo-Bangla trade, says Bangladesh
Dhaka, Aug 3 (ANI): Tariff barriers and standard testing are the biggest impediments in the growth of bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India, Gowher Rizvi, adviser and special representative of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister said here recently.
Speaking at a seminar organised by Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a leading think tank of World Bank and titled 'Bangladesh-India Trade Relationship: New Opportunities, New Challenges,' Rizvi said Dhaka had invested a part of a billion-dollar line of credit from India to improve the standard testing mechanism in the country.
"Standard testing is a major impediment to our exports to India. We got to improve our Bangladesh Standard Testing institutes. A part of the billion dollar line of credit that we got from India was intended and has been applied to improving, importing equipment, training our people in testing, so that our testing standards are acceptable to India," Rizvi conceded.
He also pointed out that there were multiple tariff barriers as certain Indian states also imposed taxes.
"A number of Indian states impose taxes on goods coming from Bangladesh. It turned out that those were state taxes. For example, West Bengal was paying the same tax when it tried to send its goods to Odisha," Rizvi added.
B Shyam, first secretary (commercial) of High Commission of India, said the trade figure had come down because commodity prices of jute had crashed last year.
"Major component of your export basket is jute. The commodity prices of jute last year had crashed internationally. Since jute account for about 22 percent for your total exports, that is the reason the figures have come down," Shyam added.
Sanjay Kumar Kathuria, lead economist of the World Bank, said Dhaka needed to improve its domestic production to achieve 8 percent targeted growth.
"The growth potential of a country like Bangladesh or its ambition of 8 percent growth can be met without significant co-operation from neighbourhood. Of course, the neighbourhood is largely defined at least on three sides, by India. So we are focusing on India. But the neighbourhood is broader, of course, there is Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and so on," Kathuria said.
India is Bangladesh's third largest trading partner, second largest source of imports, and ninth largest export market. (ANI)
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