Bangladesh’s top products in demand at Indian market are still face barriers in many forms which heighten trade gap between the two neighbouring countries, industry sources said.
Products included Readymade Garments, electronic goods, plastic products, raw jute and jute goods have been facing inspection obligation, lengthy procedure at ports and requirement of many certification.
“These non tariff barriers push cost of Bangladeshi products high which hampered expected market growth,” Jamal Ahmed, a garment exporter told Business Mirror. If those barriers are removed Bangladeshi RMG export may jumped to US$ 3 to $ 4 billion a year, Jamal added.
India is Bangladesh’s second biggest trade partner, and its largest export market in Asia. Despite Covid-19 related disruptions, bilateral trade grew at an unprecedented rate of almost 44 per cent from $10.78 billion in 2020-21 to $18.13 billion in 2021-22.
In 2021-22, Bangladesh has emerged as the largest trade partner for India in South Asia and the fourth largest destination for Indian exports worldwide. Exports to Bangladesh grew more than 66 per cent from $9.69 billion in FY 2020-21 to $16.15 billion in FY 2021-22.
India’s main exports to Bangladesh are raw cotton, non-retail pure cotton yarn, and electricity, and its main imports from the country are pure vegetable oils, non-knit men’s suits, and textile scraps.
Measures like compliance with sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards are often turned into non-tariff barriers and technical barriers to trade by India.
“ Bangladeshi products are supposed to get ‘national treatment’ from India, but they do not get it. National treatment would have assured that Bangladeshi goods would not be subjected to any obstacle that Indian goods exported from India to Bangladesh do not face” Moinul Islam, an economist of Chittagong University told.
Poor logistic facilities of most of the Indian land ports, restrictions of commodities that can pass through land ports, cumbersome customs requirements,, manual clearance, excessive inspection in the name of security, no customs cooperation or joint inspection, no harmonisation of standards, lack of warehouse facilities in most of the Indian land ports, no testing facilities in any Indian land port bordering Bangladesh, etc. are major hurdles in the way of smooth movement of goods exported by Bangladesh to India.