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Tuesday, 9 April, 2002, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
India and Bangladesh talk trade
Bangladeshi women working in a brick works
Bangladesh exports to India total $100m each year
Bangladeshi and Indian officials have met to discuss increasing trade between their countries and reducing an imbalance in India's favour.

The trade gap between the two countries currently stands at about $1.1bn with Bangladesh importing goods worth $1.2bn from India but exporting only $100m of goods to its larger neighbour each year.

The Bangladeshi delegation pushed for duty free access to India for more than 100 products in 25 sectors to help reduce the difference.

In return, India asked for transport facilities to move its exports through Bangladesh to neighbouring markets.

Benefits to both sides

Professor Mustafizur Rahman, research director at the Centre for Policy Dialogue, told the BBC's World Business Report there was a growing recognition in India that the country did not benefit either politically or economically from the trade imbalance.

"Many of these commodities may be value-added in India and re-exported, many of these commodities have inputs from India," he said.

"And also providing zero tariff taxes to Bangladesh in terms of these commodities will create tremendous goodwill."

The Indian delegation to the talks in Dhaka was led by Commerce Secretary Dipak Chatterjee with his opposite number, Sohel Ahmed, leading the Bangladeshi officials.

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Prof Mustafizur Rahman, Centre for policy Dialogue
"There is a huge trade gap between India and Bangladesh"
See also:

29 Jan 02 | Business
Bangladesh tea exports fall
09 Nov 01 | Business
Bleak outlook for Asian growth
06 Aug 01 | Business
'Two million jobs to go in Asia'
07 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Bangladesh
28 Mar 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: India
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