India Bangladesh Trade Portal Launched To Enable Smooth Business Transactions

Opportunity India Desk
Opportunity India Desk Jan 14 2022 - 3 min read
India Bangladesh Trade Portal Launched To Enable Smooth Business Transactions
The new initiative, part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s look east policy, preferably focuses on the North East region.

India has a rich history of having strong association with its neighbouring countries. The constituent countries-individually as well as collectively-represent a world of historical links, shared legacies, commonalities as well as diversities which are so elaborately reflected in their ethnic, linguistic, religious and political fabric. Setting one more example of its friendship, a trade portal to facilitate business between Bangladeshi and Indian traders, especially of the North East region, was launched on Wednesday, 11 January, 2022.

The trade portal, which contains a database of exporters and importers of North East India and Bangladesh, would enable B2B collaboration between buyers and sellers of both countries and also let business dealings and negotiations between the two sides. This new initiative, part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s look east policy, preferably focuses on the North East region.

According to the Centre, the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), with assistance from the Bangladesh Assistant High Commission in Guwahati, has developed the portal and ICC will itself maintain it.

Portal was made operational on Thursday, 13th January 2022. On the launch of the portal, Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner Dr Shah Mohammad Tanvir Monsur said the bilateral trade between India and his country is worth $10 billion US per annum, but the North-East region contributes only one per cent to it. Monsur said there is much potential for other items such as handloom and handicrafts and Muga (mulberry) silk in Bangladesh. Speaking on the occasion, ICC's regional director Ishantor Sobhapandit said this is the first website or mobile application which would give a unique experience to the exporters and importers of the two countries.

The reason behind launching a specially designed portal was to smooth the progress of trade between Bangladesh and India’s northeast. The portal has been developed by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) along with Bangladesh Assistant High Commission in Guwahati.

Bilateral trade between the two neighbours is estimated at around $10 billion but as per analysts the volume and value of informal trade is “substantial.” Among the northeastern states, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram share their borders with Bangladesh. Besides, West Bengal too shares its border with Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the border local vendors, hat market or the micro local markets along the border areas have also contributed to bilateral trade. Both India and Bangladesh governments are now looking at ways to further boost these local markets. The major items exported to Bangladesh by India during the April-October 2021 period include cotton ($2.1 billion), cereals ($1.3 billion), electricity and fuel ($0.6 billion), vehicle parts ($0.5 billion) and machinery and mechanical appliances ($0.4 billion).

It is expected that Bangladesh may become India’s fourth largest export destination in FY22, jumping five places in two years. This comes as the economic boom of the eastern neighbour continues to fuel India’s exports growth.

If the trend continues, Bangladesh will only better its rank in India’s export profile from last year’s 5th position when it surprised analysts by jumping from 9th rank in FY20.

Bangladesh has been an economic sensation in South Asia with its unprecedented transformation over the past decade and may even surpass India in terms of per capita income.

Bangladesh’s growth stems largely from its success as an exporter of garments, which account for around 80 per cent of its total exports, remittances from overseas amount to over 6% of GDP.

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