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Bangladesh wants duty-free access to Indian markets

Bangladesh’s exporters say they don’t get the benefits of 100 per cent duty-free access to Indian markets due to tariff and non-tariff barriers. India has awarded Bangladesh duty- and quota-free access of all products except alcohol and tobacco to its market.

Bangladesh is entirely dependent on the import of cotton from India to meet its demand. And cotton imports from India are on the rise. There are 400 cotton mills in Bangladesh, which consumed 6.1 million cotton bales worth about $2.2 billion in 2015. These mills produce 2,250 million kg of yarn over 11 million spindles.

India is the largest supplier of cotton and cotton yarn to Bangladesh. Cotton, cotton yarn and cotton fabric are the single largest commodity export from India, which accounted for about 22.5 per cent of India’s total exports to Bangladesh. The general opinion is that the trade volume between India and Bangladesh is in India’s favor. Bangladesh imported products worth $5.82 billion from India in the last fiscal year while its export was worth only $527 million.

Moreover frequent visits by business people from both countries have created a friendly atmosphere. One challenge Bangladesh faces is the procurement of cotton at a competitive price.