Bangladesh can export edible oil to India: Indian envoy

Indian high commissioner in Dhaka, Vikram Doraiswami.

Indian high commissioner in Dhaka, Vikram Doraiswami. 
Prothom Alo file photo

Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami on Tuesday said Bangladesh can export edible oil to India with 20 per cent value addition on the product.

“We would like to establish a unique mechanism to allow Bangladesh’s BSTI certification especially for the food products as well as other products including steel in a reciprocal manner,” he said.

The Indian envoy made the remarks while paying a courtesy call on Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Rizwan Rahman at DCCI office in the city, said a press release.

Vikram K Doraiswami said the cost of transportation between Delhi and Chattogram Port is unendurably high.

He urged the business communities of both countries to convince the government to upgrade goods transportation facilities.

“There are five railway crossings that are connected between the two sides now. For goods export and import, railway can be the best cost effective option,” he added.

He suggested for railway infrastructure and capacity development. “We are also very keen to use Bangladesh’s existing river ports for goods transportation, but this needs a few regulatory things to be done, including river dredging,” he added.

Regarding Indian investment in Bangladesh, the envoy said, “It would be great if we could jointly work to stimulate more Indian businesses for coming to Bangladesh and invest in the SEZs as Bangladesh has huge opportunity.”

DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said that the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India was US$ 6.9 billion in FY 2019-20 where Bangladesh’s export to India was $1.10 billion against the import of $5.79 billion.

“Total FDI Stock from India to Bangladesh as of September, 2020 was $645.54 million. Since 2017, Bangladeshi jute products have been facing anti-dumping duties ranging between $19 and $351.72 per ton while exporting to India,” he added.

Moreover, he said, India has enacted ‘Customs Rules 2020’ which may create problems in claiming preferential duty for Bangladeshi goods in the Indian market under SAFTA and APTA.

“Cost of transporting goods from Dhaka to Delhi is significantly higher than those from Dhaka to European and US ports,” he mentioned.

Rizwan Rahman requested to expedite implementation of Indian Line of Credit promised to Bangladesh.

He urged to review ‘Custom Rules 2020’ of India pertaining to Rules of Origin and mutual recognition of quality certification given by both the countries.

He also said that the private sector needs to be included in the Joint Economic Commission to address the non-tariff barriers and trade related disputes. BIMSTEC and BCIM Economic Corridor facilities need to be tapped for mutual interests of private sector, he added.

He emphasized on up-gradation of land port infrastructures of the countries, transit and connectivity, cross border railway connectivity and implementation of BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement. Bangladesh can export electronic items, iron, steel and cement to north eastern region of India.


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