Bangladesh has appealed to India to withdraw the recent administrative notice imposing barrier on import of jute and jute products from Bangladesh, which is adversely affecting the former’s economy.
Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed raised the concern at a meeting with his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman at her office on Wednesday evening.
Bangladesh is upset with the ‘new hurdles’, like need for registration at several levels of the trade process, placed on its jute exports to India.
The ministers also discussed other issues of mutual interest.
Ahmed sought waiver of the countervailing duties imposed on different goods imported from Bangladesh in spite of India’s commitment to allow duty-free-quota-free access to almost all products.
“The Indian commerce minister instructed the officials for expeditious solution to the matter,” officials accompanying Ahmed said.
The Bangladesh minister also asked New Delhi to expedite the construction of roads on the Indian side in order to reap the benefits of increased connectivity.
“In the forthcoming 10th Ministerial Conference of WTO to be held in Nairobi, we (Bangladesh) will seek service waiver and change of rules of origin in line with the commitments made in Bali.
“As the coordinator of LDCs, we will also ask for extension of transitional period for export of pharmaceutical products beyond Dec 31, 2016,” Ahmed said.
The Indian commerce minister is learnt to have assured her government’s support for Bangladesh’s position.
Ahmed was in New Delhi to attend the South Asian Economic Conclave (SAEC), which concluded Wednesday.
The conclave was organised jointly by the Government of India, CII, international organisations and trade bodies to promote regional trade and investment.
Attended by ministers, political leaders, academicians, media, and business personalities from across the South Asian region, the conclave resolved to work together for an inclusive economic development.
Earlier, addressing the conclave, Ahmed called for reviving the old rail, road and waterways linkages to increase trade and people-to-people contacts.
The visiting Bangladesh minister also called on India’s President Pranab Mukherjee at his official residence on Tuesday.