Shringla reiterates India's promise to remove NTBs

Dhaka,  Tue,  27 June 2017
Published : 24 May 2017, 22:40:58
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Shringla reiterates India's promise to remove NTBs

FE Report


Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla Wednesday reiterated India's promise to remove non-tariff barriers (NTBs) that hinder access of products from Bangladesh to the Indian market.

"The cooperation between the certification authorities of both countries will remove the non-tariff barriers gradually," he told the annual conference of International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) at a city hotel.

He spoke about the NTBs in response to allegations raised by local businessmen at the meeting that India allowed duty-free access of many products from Bangladesh, but restricts exports through imposing NTBs.

He added that some of the NTBs were removed as Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) and its Indian counterpart partnered about certification of goods.

Former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Mohammed Farashuddin, immediate past FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad, IBFB president Hafizur Rahman Khan and founding president of IBFB Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury also spoke at the meeting.

The Indian envoy said India wanted to work very closely with Bangladesh to exploit the sea resources in best possible way for mutual economic benefits and creating a 'secure and sustainable' Bay of Bengal and beyond.

"I think, that is a sort of cooperation we want to see between Bangladesh and India," he said, adding that the two neighbours could be benefitted enormously with greater connectivity and linkages in areas, including road, rail, power and digital cooperation. "As we open up with greater linkages, I think our opportunities to multiply many folds."

Mr Shringla pointed out that the then East Pakistan had six rail connections with India, but all of those were shut down in 1965. "We have restored four … this is great for both the countries."

He said the impediments to the relationship have been reduced and the remaining ones were on the table for solution.

IBFB president Hafizur Rahman urged the Indian High Commissioner to take effective measures to minimise the existing trade deficit and remove the NTBs to lead Bangladesh-India relationship to the next level of excellence.

Past FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad urged India to identify the specific barriers to trade and resolve those for better neighbourly relations.

Expressing satisfaction over Indian investment to Bangladesh, he explained that the idea was to produce in Bangladesh and re-export to India and other destinations.

Dr Farashuddin identified the complexities of taxation system in the country that slowed down the growth of revenue collection and suggested the government to simplify the taxation system to increase the revenue collection substantially.  

He said India could take the leadership in exploiting 'very rare and precious' creatures in the deep sea water. "If we can do that, I think, we'll make a quantum jump in terms of prosperity and wealth accumulation," he added.

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