India and Bangladesh hold Commerce Secretary Level Meeting in New Delhi

Significant progress made on multimodal connectivity between India and Bangladesh

Joint study on India-Bangladesh CEPA to be finalized soon

The Commerce Secretary level meeting between India and Bangladesh was held in New Delhi on 4th March 2022. The Indian delegation was led by Commerce Secretary, Government of India, Shri B.V.R. Subrahmanyam and the Bangladesh delegation was led by Senior Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Government of Bangladesh, Mr. Tapan Kanti Ghosh.

Both sides held extensive discussions on a variety of issues of mutual interest, including development of railway infrastructure, port infrastructure, Joint Study on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), Border Haats, Regional connectivity through MultiModal Transportation, Harmonization of Standards, Mutual Recognition Agreement. 

Of the many issues discussed, progress on the following agenda items was appreciated by the delegation of both the countries: –

·       Significant growth in the bilateral trade between the two countries in recent years -Bangladesh is the 6th largest trade partner of India.

·       For facilitation of trade between India-Bangladesh through railways

a)    For developing container handling facility at Sirajganj Bazar a Detailed Project Proposal (DPP) approved.

b)    For running freight trains between India-Bangladesh, 900 metre new siding line constructed at Benapole.

c)     For allowing import of all commodities from India by rail via Darsana, the construction of loading and unloading platform completed at Darshana.

d)    For development of Rail and Road based ICD at Ishwardi, the DPP approved.

·       Consensus over the use of returning empty railway wagons/containers by Bangladesh – this would reduce overall logistics cost of India’s exports to Bangladesh.

·       Border Haats – the ones closed due to covid restriction would be opened soon