India-Bangladesh partnership stands out as a role model in the South Asian region

Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution, Piyush Goyal on Tuesday assured Bangladesh of complete cooperation in ensuring barrier-free trade between the two countries.

Addressing India-Bangladesh digital conference on agriculture sector he said, “We have offered duty-free market access to Bangladesh in many products, including, agri-exports.”

Goyal said India and Bangladesh share a very warm and cordial relationship, based on mutual trust and friendship which goes beyond the arithmetic of economic gains and losses. He said India-Bangladesh partnership stands out as a role model in the region, for good neighbourly relations.

“Our ties have witnessed an upswing in the last 6 years. We have scaled up trade & economic engagement, besides implementing a number of connectivity and infrastructure projects”, he said, adding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina share a common vision and pro-business policies which have “enhanced governance in our two countries.”

The Union Minister said that with over 50 percent of the population in both the countries involved in the agriculture sector, it has a huge socio-economic dimension.

“We are delighted that Bangladesh has now become self-sufficient in food, and the goal is to modernise agriculture. This is an area where we both should work with greater synergies & collaboration. Agriculture can have game-changing potential between our two countries. Bilateral cooperation in this sector can pave the way to overcome the current economic challenges. Agriculture sector has huge socio-economic dimensions. Being the prominent sector of the economy, bilateral cooperation in this sector can pave the way to overcome the current economic challenges our countries are facing,” he added.

The Minister appreciated the intention of the Government of Bangladesh to search for ways to increase and improve the prosperity of their farmers. He assured complete cooperation in this regard.

Goyal spoke about the steps taken by India to help farmers, including transportation, irrigation, institutional credit, marketing facilities, supply of quality inputs like seeds, neem-coating fertilisers and machinery & development of associated cottage industries.

“We have used a very holistic approach to enhance the productivity and efficiency of farmers and bring back attractiveness to the agriculture sector. Going forward, in the post-Pandemic world as India also expands its international engagement coupled with our efforts to make India more self-reliant, we believe we will be able to increase the incomes of our farmers & help them prosper.”

The Minister said that in view of the recent developments, the non-tariff barriers will play a crucial role in determining how Bangladesh utilises the abundant opportunities India has to offer

Referring to other areas of bilateral cooperation, Goyal said that the largest number of tractors used in Bangladesh come from India.

“On food processing, we can work with each, learn from each other & expand our presence in the global market in partnership with each other. We share a very strong relationship in the Railways sector which is our bridge to greater engagement in infrastructure development. The Governments of both our countries have set very high benchmarks on how Bangladesh and India together can capture a larger share of the global market in textiles. Through this, we can provide jobs to the people, increase earnings from trade & support economic development,” he said.