Multimodal connectivity is instrumental in enhancing trade between India and Bangladesh, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami said on Tuesday.
The Indian envoy said this at a courtesy call on Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rizwan Rahman.
The bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India was $6.9 billion in Fiscal Year 2019-20 when Bangladesh's export to India was $1.10 billion against the import of $5.79 billion.
Rizwan informed the diplomat that since 2017, Bangladeshi jute products have been facing anti-dumping duties ranging between $19 and $351.72 per ton while exporting to India.
The total foreign direct investment from India to Bangladesh was $645.54 million as of September 2020, said a press release issued by the business chamber.
Moreover, India has enacted Customs Rules 2020 which may create problems for Bangladeshi goods to enter the Indian market, he said, adding that the cost of transporting goods from Dhaka to Delhi is significantly higher than those from Dhaka to European and US ports.
Rizwan Rahman requested the envoy to expedite implementation of the Indian Line of Credit promised to Bangladesh.
He also urged the Indian high commissioner to review India's Customs Rules 2020.
The president of Dhaka business chamber emphasised up-gradation of land port infrastructure of both countries, transit and connectivity, cross-border railway connectivity and implementation of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement.
Vikram K Doraiswami said Bangladesh can export edible oil to India with 20% value addition to the product.
"We would like to establish a unique mechanism to allow Bangladesh's BSTI certification especially for food products as well as other products including steel in a reciprocal manner," he added.
The cost of transportation and time between Delhi and Chattogram Port is unendurably high, the high commissioner said, urging the business community of both countries to convince the government to upgrade goods transportation facilities.
He also suggested infrastructure development and technological advancement of all land ports of Bangladesh to expedite faster export and import processes.
There are five railway crossings connected between two sides of India and Bangladesh now, Vikram observed, adding that for goods export and import, railway can be the best cost effective option.
"We are also very keen on using Bangladesh's existing river ports for goods transportation, but this requires a few regulatory things to be done including river dredging," said the high commissioner.
Regarding Indian investment in Bangladesh, he said it would be great if India could jointly work to stimulate more Indian businesses to come to Bangladesh and invest in special economic zones as Bangladesh has a huge opportunity.