India looks to advance trade deal with Bangladesh: Piyush Goyal

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said India was looking to advance a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is India’s fifth largest export destination.

Addressing the inaugural session of India-Bangladesh stakeholders’ meet, Goyal said improving this connectivity further was imperative for expansion of the bilateral trade and realisation of the investment potential of Bangladesh and eastern India. Both countries should also explore potential areas of investments in textiles, jute products, leather and footwear, APIs for pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, agribusiness, among others, he said.

There is also a need to give more impetus to joint production of defence equipment. “Our defence cooperation has not progressed, though India offered a $500-million line of credit. Time has come to take it to the next level,” the minister said, adding that both countries can also look at joint manufacturing of vaccines and other medicines.

“India and Bangladesh can become ‘Pharmacy of the world’: During Covid-19, vaccines produced in India — Covaxin and Covishield — created a niche for themselves as safe vaccines,” he said.

On Saturday, top government officials from the two countries held extensive discussions on a host of issues of mutual interest. They also decided to finalise the joint study on trade at the earliest.

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