India to address trade imbalance issue with Bangladesh: Swaraj

Posted By: PTI
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Dhaka, June 26: Committing to move beyond quota-free and duty-free regime, India today assured Bangladesh that it will address the trade imbalance between the two countries even as it announced Rs 60 crore grant for small projects.

Though India allows unlimited import of textile without levying duty from Bangladesh, the trade between the two nation is heavily in favour of India. India allows duty-free import of all products, except 25 items (like liquor and tobacco), without any quota from Bangladesh.

"We will work with Bangladesh to move beyond the quota- free and duty-free regime to facilitate trade and address the trade imbalance," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies here.

We will work to move beyond the quota- free and duty-free regime, said Sushma

Greater Indian investments will also help to augment Bangladesh's export basket and contribute to a reduction of the imbalance, she said, adding, there are a number of industries such as textiles, where Bangladesh has a comparative advantage.

"Our businessmen can join hands in this and other sectors for mutual benefit and success. India stands ready to open more border haats and land customs stations," she said. Noting that Bangladesh has ambitious plans to develop infrastructure and become a knowledge-based and technology- driven middle income country by 2021, Swaraj said India would like to be your partner of choice in this endeavour.

"We are committed to supporting your development efforts within our resources for your success. In this context, I am extremely glad that out of the 15 projects agreed under the existing 800 million dollar Line of Credit, 7 have been completed, 4 are under execution and 4 are in the process of being tendered," she said.

"I am happy to announce a grant of 60 crore Indian Rupees for implementation of various Small Development Projects in Bangladesh in the current financial year," she added. India and Bangladesh share a contiguous coastline and a common maritime space, she said, adding, India would like to enhance cooperation with Bangladesh in the maritime sector in general, and in the Bay of Bengal in particular.

"We face similar challenges of providing quality education, health care, raising agricultural productivity, rapid urbanisation, poverty reduction and inclusive growth. My government is ready to work with other South Asian leaders to revitalise SAARC as an effective instrument for regional cooperation and as a united voice on these global issues," she added.


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