India is becoming a major market for Bangladesh to export US$2 billion worth of apparel in the next two years, said, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on 27 January, 2019 in a press briefing after a meeting with Adarsh Swaika, the acting High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh, at his office.
As there is duty-free access to the Indian market and rising demand for garment items at competitive prices, the shipments will cross the $2 billion mark over the next couple of years; Tipu Munshi hoped.
According to the data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), in fiscal 2017-18, garment exports to India was $278.68 million.
“I think there is no obstacle for Bangladesh’s export to India as in 2011, India removed all duties on exports of Bangladeshi goods to India. Since then we have not followed any restrictive pattern.” Adarsh Swaika said.
“On the widening gap in trade balance between the two countries, India’s export to Bangladesh is growing as the country mainly imports raw materials for export. For instance, Bangladesh is a major importer of cotton and active pharmaceutical ingredients from India,” Swaika concluded.
According to data from the ministry of commerce, Bangladesh imported goods worth $8.61 billion and exported goods worth $873.27 million in last fiscal year.
Munshi further said, “Six more border haats would be opened soon to facilitate easy availability of goods for those living in the areas.”
He, however, did not name the areas where the markets will be set up. Currently, four border haats are in operation.
The Minister assured that he would hold talks with the Indian government to resolve the trade dispute at the Feni border haat as Bangladeshi traders have been complaining about impediments in sales of their goods in the market.