Bangladesh and India Monday
signed two agreements on trade and investment promotion and protection to
facilitate enhanced trade and investment between the two countries.
Visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and host Commerce
Minister Lt Col (rtd) Faruk Khan signed the Bilateral Trade Agree-ment. The
Bilateral Invest-ment Promotion and Prote-ction Agreement was inked by Pranab
and Industries Minister Dilip Barua.
Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni
witnessed the signing ceremony held at Hotel Sheraton after formal talks
between the two sides at the state guesthouse Pad-ma. The Foreign Minister led
the host side at the talks.
The volume of two-way trade between the two next-door neighbors was recorded
US$ 3.76 billion in the 2007-08 fiscal year. India enjoys huge trade surplus
with Bangladesh as Bangladesh imported Indian goods worth US$ 3.37 billion in
the fiscal year while its exports fetched only US$ 358 million from the vast
Addressing a post-talks joint
press conference, Mukherjee and Moni said they had fruitful and comprehensive
discussions on a wide range of bilateral issues. The Indian foreign minister
listed the issues they talked as security, border management, strengthening
connectivity, promoting trade and investment, and people-to-people contact.
Dipu Moni said they had
comprehensive discussions on how Bangladesh and India can move forward. She
said they discussed practical ways of promoting economic relations, two-way
trade, reduction of the trade gap and increasing investment.
"Discussion on connectivity
was held specifically focusing on national interests," said Foreign
Besides, matters of security and anti-people activities by fundamentalists and
extremists were also discussed. In this context, the two sides shared views on
Bangladesh''s proposal on South Asian Anti-Terrorism Task Force.
Dipu Moni said she categorically
assured Pranab Mukherjee that Bangladesh wouldn''t allow its territory to be
used by any anti-Indian elements to carry out activities against India.
She also sought Indian cooperation against elements who are trying to harm the
interests of Bangladesh (from the other side).
At the comprehensive talks, Dhaka
requested New Delhi to revive the stagnant talks on the longstanding issues of
sharing the waters of common rivers and demarcation of land and maritime