India and Bangladesh have started negotiations for an FTA (Free Trade Agreement) to boost two-way commerce and investments. A joint feasibility study on the agreement, officially dubbed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), has been started after the two countries agreed to explore the possibility of negotiating a trade pact, as per the reports.
In FTAs, the involved countries decide to reduce or eliminate customs duties on traded goods between them and work on easing a few norms to promote trade to attract investments. As per the reports, the mutual trade between India and Bangladesh surged to USD 18.2 billion (USD 16.2 billion exports and USD 2 billion imports) in 2021-22 as compared to USD 10.8 billion in 2020-21.
For Bangladesh, India is the second biggest trade partner and for India, Bangladesh is India’s largest trade partner. The ministers of the two nations discussed multiple issues including the removal of non-tariff barriers and restrictions on ports, settlement of trade in Indian rupees, setting standard trade procedures on both sides, and also working on strengthening connectivity and trade infrastructure.