India and Bangladesh agree to soon start discussion on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

India and Bangladesh have agreed to start the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) at an early date. The decision was taken during a meeting between Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyal and Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi in Delhi on Thursday.

A Joint feasibility study on CEPA has been carried out after the two countries agreed for exploring a bilateral FTA. The study confirmed the CEPA would provide a sound basis for substantial enhancement of trade and commercial partnership between the two countries.

Both sides also agreed that CEPA will also create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in India and Bangladesh. In addition, the partnership would establish reliable and sustainable Regional Value Chains (RVCs), said the official press release of the Ministry of Commerce.

The Ministers discussed various issues of mutual interest including removal of non-tariff barriers and port restrictions, re-opening of border haats, harmonisation and mutual recognition of Standards and procedures on both sides, settlement of trade in Indian rupees, strengthening connectivity and trade infrastructure, among others, to realise the full potential of India-Bangladesh economic ties.

The last meeting between the commerce ministers of the two countries was held in September 2018.

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