Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Bangladesh

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Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Bangladesh

Recently, the Ministry of Commerce has clarified that India wants to go ahead with the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Bangladesh.

The South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) agreement was implemented in the year 2006. It regulates tariff regimes for trade. Under this agreement, there is already a commodity trade agreement between India and Bangladesh.

Under SAFTA, India has provided “duty-free quota-free” access to Bangladesh on all goods except alcohol and tobacco.

Importance of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

  • Bangladesh is India’s largest trading partner in South Asia. Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown steadily over the past decade.
  • In the year 2021, trade with Bangladesh accounted for about 3.3 percent of exports ($9.7 billion), and about 0.3 percent of imports ($1.3 billion). Bangladesh’s exports to India have tripled in the past decade.
  • The top exports from India to Bangladesh include cotton, grain, fuel, vehicle parts, machinery and mechanical equipment.

Commerce and Industry Minister has listed four focus areas to strengthen India-Bangladesh ties:

  1. Ensuring a seamless supply chain.
  2. There is a need to encourage more joint production of defense equipment between the two countries.
  3. To harness the potential of potential investment sectors like textiles, jute products, leather and footwear, medical equipment etc.
  4. The two countries can become the “pharmacy of the world” with joint manufacturing of vaccines and other drugs.

Source – The Hindu

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