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India, B'desh hold Joint Working Group on Trade meet; deeper trade ties, sustainable development on agenda

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, OCT 03, 2023: THE 15th Meeting of the Joint Working Group on Trade (JWG) between India and Bangladesh was held on 26th and 27th September, 2023 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The meeting was co-chaired by Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Mr. Vipul Bansal and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Mr. Noor Md. Mahbubul Haq.

The 15th Meeting of JWG discussed a host of bilateral issues such as removal of port restrictions, ground work on commencement of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), harmonization of standards, mutual recognition of standards, supply of essential commodities to Bangladesh, development of road and rail infrastructure, regional connectivity through multi-modal transportation and creation/ strengthening of infrastructure in Land Customs Stations/ Integrated Check Posts, border haats, etc. 

The bilateral meeting successfully concluded with both countries reaffirming their commitment to deeper economic engagement, regional cooperation, and sustainable development. Both sides reiterated that the future holds great promise for enhanced trade relations and mutual prosperity.

The India-Bangladesh Joint Working Group on Trade (JWG) Meetings are held on an annual basis to discuss key trade related issues and explore opportunities for economic and technical collaboration, promotion, facilitation, expansion and diversification of trade between the two countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. These meetings play a vital role in quick resolution of bilateral issues by removing trade barriers, simplifying customs procedures, improvement of infrastructure, logistics, and transit facilities to facilitate smoother cross-border trade.

Several trade facilitative measures have been undertaken by both India and Bangladesh for facilitating trade between the countries. India has allowed exports from Bangladesh to India by rail in closed containers, with customs clearance facility at any Inland Container Depot (ICD) vide circular dated 17th May 2022. Bangladesh informed about successful commencement of Agreement on the use of Chattogram and Mongla Port (ACMP) and increasing the number of goods to be traded through various Land Custom Stations (LCSs).