Zia urges India to allow duty-free import of goods | india | Hindustan Times
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Zia urges India to allow duty-free import of goods

The Bangladeshi PM asked India to allow duty free import of goods from its eastern neighbour and removal of non-tariff barriers.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2006 17:07 IST

Voicing concern over the rising trade gap with New Delhi, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia on Wednesday asked India to allow duty free import of goods from its eastern neighbour and removal of non-tariff barriers.

"The ever-growing trade gap between India and Bangladesh is a matter of considerable concern for us... Not because India stands to be the gainer... Nevertheless, we are concerned because such a situation is hardly sustainable.

"We would, therefore, urge our friends in India to facilitate preferential duty-free access to exports to India. We also look forward to dismantling of various non-tariff barriers," Zia told captains of Indian industry here.

While India's exports to Bangladesh in 2004-05 stood at two billion dollars, Bangladesh's exports to India were a meagre 140 million dollars.

Zia noted that a healthy growth of Bangladeshi exports will "greatly help us sustain our substantial imports from India".

Inviting Indian businessmen to invest in her country, she said that it provided an investment friendly regime.

It could also serve as the gateway to South East Asian markets and markets offering preferential access to the goods produced in Bangladesh.

Speaking on the occasion Union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said: "We must develop a roadmap to address issues that are hindering the growth between the two countries... Joint Working Groups are discussing various issues including the possibility of India and Bangladesh entering into a bilateral FTA."