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Trade barriers hold back exports from Bangladesh to India: Tofail Ahmed

Bangladesh's commerce minister Tofail Ahmed has said the country’s exports to India have not been growing at expected levels despite duty benefits due to different tariff and non-tariff barriers. With the current imbalance in trade between Bangladesh and India, the minister urged Indian government to hold dialogues to remove the barriers and make way for higher exports from Bangladesh to India. He was speaking on 'India's Integration with South and Southeast Asia' on the second day of a partnership summit held at Visakhapatnam.

India has awarded duty-free access for all Bangladeshi goods except 25 alcoholic and beverage items to the Indian market. But it has imposed a 12.5 per cent countervailing duty on apparel and up to $329 anti-dumping duty on jute exports. The minister hoped those barriers can be removed through discussions. But in the present context, India will have to come forward. Bangladesh has a lot of expectations from its largest neighbour, he said.

The Indian Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of India jointly organised the annual event where businessmen, ministers and business leaders from home and abroad were present. Bangladesh exported goods worth $689.78 million in fiscal 2015-16 and at the same time, India exported goods worth $5.70 billion to Bangladesh.