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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Bangladesh's trade talks with India falter
Bangladeshi fan sellers
Bangladesh exports only $100m worth of goods to India
Bangladesh and Indian have ended three days of acrimonious trade talks, leaving major disputes unresolved.

A huge trade deficit with its giant neighbour has caused Bangladesh to requested tariff exemptions on 191 items, of which India agreed to 40.

"The duty-free access to 40 items will not make much difference considering the size of the (trade) imbalance," Bangladesh's Commerce Secretary Suhel Ahmed said.

The items range from prepared foods and toiletries to leather products and electrical goods, a joint statement said.

The Bangladesh's trade deficit ballooned to $1.1bn in 2001 from $53.3m in 1985, which has caused growing unease among Bangladeshi exporters.

Transit rights unresolved

The two days of negotiations were extended by a day over New Delhi's request that in exchange for tariff cuts, Bangladesh should allow Indian goods in its north-eastern states to pass through the country.

The Bangladeshi delegation said the issue should be referred to a joint economic commission scheduled to meet later this year.

New Delhi also raised objections to Dhaka's recent ban on imports of Indian cotton yarn and sugar through land routes, which will now be referred to Bangladesh's National Board of Revenue.

See also:

09 Apr 02 | Business
India and Bangladesh talk trade
07 Feb 02 | South Asia
Asian meet aims to strengthen trade
31 Oct 01 | South Asia
Bangladesh edges toward gas exports
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