Businesses in Bangladesh have called on India to address obstacles hindering the country’s exports to the world’s second-largest consumer market.
At the Quarterly Luncheon Meeting of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), several recommendations were made to enhance trade, including standardization, the introduction of a dual currency, and simplified visa procedures.
Indian High Commissioner Pranay Verma assured the business community that the issues faced by Bangladeshi businesses would be addressed.
Verma also highlighted the forthcoming negotiations between Bangladesh and India to sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and emphasized the importance of promoting multimodal connectivity, such as rail, shipping, and air links.
Efforts to modernize and decongest land ports are underway to facilitate smooth trade between the two countries.
Verma stated that Bangladesh is well-positioned to tap into the economic potential of India’s northeast states and that removing trade restrictions would incentivize further investment.
He mentioned expanding rail links, restoring pre-1965 rail links, and increasing river communications.
He emphasized the need for sectoral and cross-sectional investment missions, capacity-building programs, and collaboration between small and medium-sized industries of both countries.
MCCI President Syful Islam praised the CEPA and proposed the introduction of a dual-currency credit card.
He suggested the free flow of Bangladeshi Taka and Indian Rupee in bilateral trade, regardless of Bangladesh’s export performance.
Former MCCI President Syed Nasim Manzur highlighted the opportunity to diversify and de-risk global supply chains, suggesting increased trade in raw materials and semi-finished products.
The program concluded with MCCI Vice President Habibullah N Karim delivering a vote of thanks, emphasizing the importance of easing visa restrictions and facilitating the movement of service providers between Bangladesh and India.
The meeting aimed to strengthen the unique and special relationship between the two countries, built on shared sacrifices during the 1971 immigration borders.