India and Bangladesh to finalize joint study on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement soon

India and Bangladesh held a Trade Secretary-level meeting on Friday (March 4th) to discuss several issues, including the finalization of a joint study on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The Indian delegation was led by Union Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and the Bangladeshi delegation was led by Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Principal Secretary in the Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce.

“The two sides had in-depth discussions on a variety of issues of mutual concern, including the development of railway infrastructure, port infrastructure, the joint study on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), Border Haats, regional connectivity via MultiModal transport, harmonization of standards and mutual recognition agreement,” the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement released on Saturday March 5.

Both sides appreciated the significant growth in bilateral trade between the two countries in recent years.

They also discussed facilitating trade between the two countries through railways. A Detailed Project Proposal (DPP) has been approved for the development of a container handling facility at Sirajganj Bazar in Bangladesh.

The two parties also discussed and reached consensus on the use of returning empty railway wagons/containers by Bangladesh – this would reduce the overall logistics cost of India’s exports to Bangladesh.

Additionally, it was decided that the border crossings that were closed due to Covid restrictions would soon be opened. Furthermore, it has been decided that the 24/7 operationalization of the Integrated Control Post (ICP) of Pétrapole-Benapole will be put in place soon.

The two sides also discussed strengthening regional connectivity between the two countries through multimodal transport.

Furthermore, it was decided that the joint study on CEPA will be finalized as soon as possible.

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