DHAKA: The India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry was launched here today in presence of Indian Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh.
India has offered to buy eight million items of garments every year from Bangladesh to deepen trade ties. The garment items are currently in the sensitive list.
Mr. Jairam Ramesh said that an MoU to give effect to these imports by India is now final approval by Bangladesh, and is likely to signed soon. This could mean additional annual earnings of 50-70 million dollars for Bangladesh.
He also said India was committed to SAFTA, which is proceeding forward on schedule.
"We are firmly committed to SAFTA, in spite of the fact that one member continues to deny us most-favoured nation (MFN) status, which is the very basis of WTO and international trade," he said.
Mr. Jairam Ramesh said that India would advance the schedule for reducing import duties to zero for Least Developed Countries in South Asia to December 2007 from the original date of December 2008. Besides benefiting Bangladesh, it would benefit Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal.
India will also prune the sensitive list for such countries, he said. The Indian government is taking special care that some items of export interest to Bangladesh are removed from the sensitive list and we aim to complete this by year end," he said. From the year 2008, almost 86 per cent of Bangladesh's tariff lines will not attract any import duty by India.