Bangladesh favoured a free trade agreement (FTA) with India provided the business communities of the two countries came out with an agreed list of items for inclusion under the FTA under the FTA.
"Maybe we can't go to the full length with such an agreement right away, but we can still make a beginning," Finance and Planning Minister Saifur Rahman told an interactive business meeting in New Delhi Wednesday, according to a report received in Dhaka Wednesday.
The meeting was jointly organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
He referred to the SAFTA (South Asia Free Trade Area) agreement and noted that bilaterally there was scope for an agreement for freer trade between India and Bangladesh.
Saifur Rahman emphasised the need for mutual recognition of standards, testing and certification by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI).
He welcomed technical assistance from India to upgrade testing facilities in Bangladesh.
However, he felt the need for smooth dissemination and sharing of information between the custom points of the two countries in order to facilitate bilateral trade activities.
The Bangladesh minister assured the representatives of Indian trade and industry of all possible cooperation and support to the chambers of commerce and business communities of both the countries.