Ahead of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s trip to Dhaka, India’s premier industry body has raised the bar for the burgeoning India-Bangladesh economic relations, saying bilateral trade could double to $10 billion by 2018, provided non-tariff barriers and infrastructure related issues are resolved.
Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), has voiced optimism that Swaraj’s June 25-27 visit to Bangladesh “will turn a new leaf in bilateral relations.”
The two-way trade between India and Bangladesh doubled from $2.7 billion five years ago to US$6.6 billion in 2013-14. India’s investment in Bangladesh touched $2.5 billion in 2013 after a continued three-year surge. “Bangladesh and India offer natural markets for each other’s exports and have advantages of reduced transaction costs and quicker delivery due to geographical proximity and common language,” said the CII.
India’s exports were valued at US$6.1 billion while and imports from Bangladesh at were at US$462 million. The CII suggested that this trade imbalance can be redressed with greater investment participation of Indian companies in Bangladesh.
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