India keen to promote business with Dhaka
By ENS Economic Bureau | Published: 04th December 2012 10:27 AM |
India on Monday said its trade imbalance with Bangladesh was unacceptable and said that it would be create a level playing field for its neighbour and see the emergence of a strong and economically vibrant Bangladesh.
“It is not acceptable to India at all that we enjoy such a one-sided trade surplus,” Commerce Secretary S R Rao told reporters after the inauguration of the “India Show” here.
He said : “India’s mission is not to export more and more to Bangladesh as it is emotionally close to our hearts. We are not here to compete with you in any sector. We are here to encourage business, create jobs and re-export products to India where there is a huge market for these goods.
The emergence of a strong Asean and SAARC region will be able to dictate its terms in the global economic scenario, Rao said.
In his address the Commerce Minister of Bangladesh Ghulam Muhammed Quader said the “The partnership between India and Bangladesh has great potential and we are proud to a certain extent that India is an emerging super power. We have a very open business environment in the county and Indian businessmen are welcome to invest in any kind of establishment they want to.”
Around 100 Indian companies, including Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and BHEL, are showcasing their products in the exhibition organised by industry chamber Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).
India slashed its sensitive list under the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) for less developed countries and granted duty free access to Bangladesh.
Speaking on this occasion, FICCI President RV Kanoria opined “This will provide immense opportunity for not only the local traders but
also Indian businesses that can invest in Bangladesh and export back in India, especially to the North Eastern region where the access from the mainland is difficult.
Bangladesh has for long being demanding for increased market access for its products to India.
Rao said “By investing in Bangladesh, Indian companies can also have access to western markets like EU and the US where Bangaldesh enjoys zero duty especially for textiles.”
During 2011-12, the two-way trade stood at $ 4.3 billion. Bangladesh has long complained that trade with India was grossly unequal with
India selling goods worth over $3.5 billion to Bangladesh against the latter’s export to India of about $0.6 billion.
India’s exports to Bangladesh include cotton, cereals, nuclear reactors, boilers and machinery. While imports from the neighbouring country comprise edible fruit and nuts, fish, apparel and textiles.