India and Bangladesh on Saturday opened a key joint land port at the northwestern tip of Banglabandha bordering Phulbari of West Bengal to boost bilateral trade.
The Phulbari-Banglabandha land port was opened at a cross border ceremony attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Bangladesh's Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury.
Two trucks carrying cotton from Bangladesh entered India, while three stone laden trucks from India crossed the border into Bangladesh, reports said.
Mukherjee termed the relations between the two countries as historic and said both Bangladesh and India have been working to cut trade deficit.
"Both countries are determined to solve all problems side by side with boosting trade," he said. He said that the Phulbari-Banglabandha land port has more potential than Benapole-Petraploe as it is very close to Siliguri, the gateway to northeast India, Nepal and Bhutan.
Speaking on the occasion, Chowdhury said, with the launch of the Banglabandha land port the trade deficit between the two countries will come down significantly. "We hope that the immigration through the port will (also) start very soon," she said.
With the opening of trade through the port, the finance minister said mills and factories will be opened in the region to create employment.