CII: Modi’s visit to result in $10b trade

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh will result in big gains for both countries that can have bilateral trade worth $10 billion by 2018, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has said, reports PTI.

According to CII, trade between India and Bangladesh was at $6.9 billion in 2014-15.

However, it is heavily in India’s favour with its exports to Bangladesh at $6.2 billion and imports at $0.6 billion.

“Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Bangladesh is bound to result in big gains for both countries… CII believes that the visit would mark an exciting new phase in India-Bangladesh economic and commercial relations,” said Sumit Mazumder, president of the Indian industry body.

“India-Bangladesh trade has potential to touch $10 billion by the year 2018. In order to reach this target, the two countries should aim at opening new land customs stations, harmonization and recognition of standards, pruning of negative lists, and banking and finance cooperation.”

However, CII said, trans-border trade, infrastructure bottlenecks, and non-tariff issues need to be addressed to achieve full potential of bilateral trade between the two countries.

“Indian industry can explore investment opportunities in Bangladesh across sectors such as energy, garments, and skill development,” said CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.

India has accorded Bangladesh the status of zero-tariff imports for all but 25 tariff lines. Cumulative Indian investments in Bangladesh amounted to $2.5 billion in 2012-13.

“Bangladesh aims to become a middle-income country by 2021 and India should emerge as a strong partner in realising this goal,” stressed Mazumder.

The industry body pointed out that infrastructure and connectivity is the key to the bilateral investment.

CII suggested that the North Eastern states of India should be actively involved in planning and preparing transport linkages, which would also deepen India’s Act East Policy for greater engagement with ASEAN and East Asia.

Source: Dhaka Tribune