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Bangladesh-India commerce secy level meeting likely in March

The Bangladesh and India commerce secretary level meeting is likely to be held in the first week of March to discuss various issues including removal of trade barriers and development of infrastructures to boost bilateral trade.

The meeting is scheduled to be held in New Delhi.

It will focus on lifting of anti-dumping duty on Bangladesh’s jute products, India’s recognition on BSTI standard certificate on more products and removal of trade barriers, sources familiar with the development said.

Dhaka has long been demanding lifting of anti-dumping duty imposed by New Delhi on Bangladesh’s jute products since 2017 for five years, reports BSS.

Although the matter was prominently discussed in the last commerce secretary level meeting held in Dhaka on March last year, but no significant headway was made yet to this end.

Bangladesh also wrote a formal letter to India’s authority to withdraw the duty, sources said.

They, however, said that signing of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and expansion of bilateral trade will be the top of the agenda in the upcoming meeting.

When contacted a highly placed source of Bangladesh side confirmed the meeting date (first week of March) saying the earlier date, which was almost fixed on February 17-18, has been shifted to March first week following
mutual understandings.

He said Bangladesh Commerce Secretary and his Indian counterpart will lead their respective sides in the meeting while representatives from the ministries and departments concerned of both the countries will join.

The last commerce secretary level meeting between the two countries was held in March last year in Dhaka.

Bangladesh commerce secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin and Indian commerce and industries secretary Anup Wadhawan led their respective sides.

Giving details sources said that extensive discussions will also be held on infrastructure development in border areas to boost bilateral trade, regional connectivity initiatives, river routes development, removal of port restrictions and sharing of trade data in the meeting.