Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 8 July: The vast consumer market of India offers enormous opportunities for Bangladesh’s quality food products, said Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Vikram Doraiswami, highlighting the duty-free, quota-free market access available to Bangladesh products under SAFTA since 2011.
It is important to strengthen linkages between the trade bodies, he said at a virtual conference on India-Bangladesh Trade Fair on Agri Products today.
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) in association with Bangladesh Fresh Fruits Importers Association and India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised the conference.
The meeting brought together key stakeholders from respective trade bodies and governments on a common platform for strengthening strategic cooperation between India and Bangladesh in the Agri-Food sector.
Indian High Commissioner Doraiswami emphasised that post LDC graduation, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which is under active discussion by both the governments, will be a game changer for bilateral trade partnership.
He also noted the importance of finalizing reciprocal arrangements with regard to food safety standards and rapid upgradation of logistics to enhance such trade.
Md Alamgir, chairman of Bangladesh Land Port Authority, highlighted that Bangladesh government is in the process of phased development and upgradation of land ports worth Tk 1.5 billion and starting with ports at Benapole, Sutarkandi, Belonia and Ramgarh.
He added that land port authorities of both the countries are committed for seamless operation, passenger facilitation and timely handling of goods for the benefit of business community.
Abdul Matlub Ahmad, president of India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI), underscored that World Bank reports suggests that seamless transport connectivity between India and Bangladesh has the potential to significantly increase national incomes on both sides.
The Virtual Conference was joined by Dr M Angamuthu, chairman, APEDA; Salimul Haque Essa, president, Bangladesh Fresh Fruits Importers Association; Shamim Ahamed, president, Halal Meat Importers Association of Bangladesh; Dr Pramyesh Basall, commercial representative, High Commission of India, Dhaka; Dr Tarun Bajaj, director, APEDA and other senior officials of APEDA & High Commission of India, Dhaka.
During the Conference, an E-Catalogue for the Virtual Buyer Seller Meet was released followed by Virtual Trade Fair B2B meeting and interaction between exporters and importers. The event saw participation of more than 200 businesses from both the countries.