NEW DELHI, Mar 22 (BDNEWS): The Indian Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Kamal Nath has called for a roadmap to address issues that are hindering growth of trade between India and Bangladesh.
"Greater connectivity is vital. We must encourage, if not insist on, movement of goods across our land borders through sealed containers", he said addressing a business lunch here.
The business lunch was organised in honour of the visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister, Khaleda Zia, by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM).
Kamal Nath said containerised movement of goods through the waterways, land route and railways between India and Bangladesh will considerably reduce the existing heavy congestion at the Petrapole-Benapole station.
At present, a container between Kolkata and Dhaka via Singapore costs US$ 2500 and takes over fifteen days, while through 'our common riverine transportation this will cost only US$ 500 and take just five days', he said.
Citing the success of the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA), he suggested a bilateral FTA, which would be South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) plus, could also substantially address the issue of trade deficit.