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CEPA can boost Bangladesh-India trade, investment: High Commissioner

Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay Verma has said the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has the potential to enhance bilateral trade and investment ties by creating a new institutional framework and supply chain linkage.

Both Bangladesh and India have agreed to negotiate the CEPA.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi directed trade officials on both sides to complete the CEPA negotiations at the earliest and in time for Bangladesh’s graduation from LDC status, reports UNB.

The Indian envoy interacted with prominent business leaders and chambers of Bangladesh on Monday evening.

The high commissioner also highlighted the importance of better connectivity and trade infrastructure at the borders to harness the full potential of economic partnership offered by rapid economic development of both India and Bangladesh.

In this context, he underscored the need to take pressure off ICP Petrapole-Benapole by improving infrastructure at other land ports, and increase the number of ports without restrictions which would in turn incentivise investments in land ports.

The Indian envoy also spoke about the need for greater cooperation, integration and multi-modal connectivity of the sub-region including through road, railways, inland waterways, and coastal shipping.

The interactive session was attended by top business leaders and heads of business chambers of Bangladesh.

A delegation from Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), which is in Dhaka for a visit, also participated in the event.

In his speech, the high commissioner highlighted the growing economic engagement between the two countries that has transformed Bangladesh-India bilateral relationship significantly under the visionary leaderships of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her counterpart Narendra Modi.

He noted that bilateral trade has more than doubled in the last five years and Bangladesh’s exports to India have touched almost USD 2 billion in the last financial year with India becoming the largest export destination for Bangladesh in Asia.