“Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution and Textiles, Government of India, and Tipu Munshi, Commerce Minister, Government of Bangladesh met in New Delhi today,” the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement. “Both sides agreed to starting the CEPA discussions at an early date,” according to a statement.
The last meeting between the Commerce Ministers of the two countries was held in Dhaka in September 2018. The commerce ministry said both sides held comprehensive discussions to further strengthen bilateral economic relations.
“A Joint feasibility study on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has been carried out after the two countries agreed for exploring a bilateral FTA. The study confirmed the CEPA would provide a sound basis for substantial enhancement of trade and commercial partnership between the two countries,” the commerce ministry said.
Further, both sides agreed that CEPA will create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in India and Bangladesh. In addition, the partnership would establish reliable and sustainable Regional Value Chains (RVCs).
The ministers discussed various issues of mutual interest including removal of non-tariff barriers and port restrictions, re-opening of border haats, harmonization and mutual recognition of Standards and procedures on both sides, settlement of trade in Indian rupees, strengthening connectivity and trade infrastructure, among others, to realise the full potential of India-Bangladesh economic ties.
Both sides agreed to work together in order to resolve the issues raised during the course of the meeting and ensure that the outcomes expected in the Joint Statement by the two leaders, PM Narendra Modi and PM Sheikh Hasina, in September 2022 are achieved in letter and spirit at the earliest.