Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

Bangladesh proposes zero-tariff market zone

Posted in Bangladesh, Business, Dhaka, Economy, Export and Import by Sherpa Hossainy on May 24, 2011

Published in The Daily Independent on May 24, 2011

Read the article on The Independent website

Digital print edition

Bangladesh has yesterday reiterated its proposal for setting up a free market zone for the SAARC member countries with zero tariffs under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) agreement.

“This proposal is essential for creating duty free access to our industrial goods and services without any technical barriers to trade,” said Minister for Industries Dilip Barua.

Barua was speaking at the ending ceremony of “India INVESTRADE 2011” exposition at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka. The show was organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) with assistance from the Indian government.

Industry representatives of Bangladesh with interest in energy products have interacted with Indian producers for possible tie-ups throughout the show held from 21 May.

Rajeev Singh, director general of ICC, in his summary speech about the fair, said: “We have received proposals worth Tk 1,273 crore in the fair, including both imports and exports.”

Earlier the minister proposed the special non-tariff zone on May 5 at the 2nd India-Bangladesh trade fair.

He also stressed the need to resolve bilateral and multilateral trade disputes through negotiations. “For settlement of issues, a proper co-ordination between the governments and industrial players is required,” he said.

Matlub Ahmed, president of India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI), urged the government to help set up a special economic zone (SEZ) for the Indian investors at Chattak, Sunamganj.

“ICC has promised to bring in Indian Industrial houses to invest in the SEZ,” he added.

Farooq Sobhan, president of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute and former ambassador to India, said: “Bangladesh is strategically located in one of the fastest growing region in the world, where India is growing at 8-9 per cent, ASEAN countries at 6-7 per cent and China at almost 10 per cent.”

Sobhan said, “Any country, as well positioned today as Bangladesh, should take full advantage of its geographic location.”

He also added that all businessperson authorised by their respective chambers should qualify for SAARC visa exemption certificate. “This will make business much easier,” he said.

Sanjay Bhattacharyya, deputy high commissioner of India to Bangladesh, and Francois Carpentier, head of power of Alstom India, also spoke in the occasion.


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