Joint study on India-B’desh CEPA to be finalised soon: Centre

India and Bangladesh will soon commission a joint study on having a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries.

The commissioning of the joint study was discussed at the Commerce Secretary-level meeting which was held between India and Bangladesh in New Delhi on Friday.

“Both sides held extensive discussions on a variety of issues of mutual interest, including development of railway infrastructure, port infrastructure, joint study on CEPA, ‘Border Haats’, regional connectivity through multi-modal transportation, harmonisation of standards, mutual recognition agreement,” an official statement said.

“CEPA study to be finalised at the earliest.”

Besides, both sides noted the significant growth in the bilateral trade between the two countries in recent years.

At present, Bangladesh is the sixth largest trade partner of India.

Other areas of cooperation such as the facilitation of trade between India-Bangladesh through railways was also discussed.

“Consensus over the use of returning empty railway wagons or containers by Bangladesh — this would reduce overall logistics cost of India’s exports to Bangladesh,” the statement said.

It was also decided that ‘Border Haats’ which were closed due to Covid-19 restrictions would be opened soon.

“The 24×7 operationalisation of Petrapole-Benapole Integrated Check Post (ICP) will be implemented soon,” it said.

“Substantive progress made on ICP or land customs stations’ regional connectivity through multi-modal transport to be strengthened between the two countries,” the statement added.

The statement also said that the CEO forum’s first meeting will be held soon.

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