‘India, BD trade gap stands at $5.57 billion’
Bangladesh is running a trade deficit with India day by day due to higher imports of industrial raw materials and essential commodities than exports, say experts.
They also pointed out that the trade gap with India increased in the last fiscal.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu too on Saturday said trade gap between Bangladesh and India now stands at US$5.57 billion.
Amir Hossain Amu said this while addressing a marketing programme of an Indian multinational generator-manufacturing company Kirloskar at Hotel Sonargaon.
When asked about the issue, economist M Mamun-Ur-Rashid said India is one of the largest sources of raw materials for Bangladeshi manufacturing industries as well as essential commodities.
Actually, Bangladeshi goods are facing various non-tariff barriers to entering Indian market, he said.
Diplomatic failure is also a reason for the huge trade deficit with the neighbouring India. The non-tariff barriers and government's lack of initiative in negotiation with the counterpart on different trade-related issues are the major obstacles to bolstering exports to India, he observed.
Trade imbalance with the SAARC member countries too has been on the rise over the last couple of years because of rising trend of imports than exports.
Former President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Mir Nasir Hossain said, trade imbalance of Bangladesh with India and the SAARC countries is increasing because of the rising trend of imports in comparison to exports.
"Our imports are increasing mainly from India that comprises various goods including raw materials, food items and machinery. At the same time, we could not boost our export to the neighboring country."
Apart from having a small number of exportable items, the tariff and non-tariff barriers as well as infrastructural problems also impede country's export to India, he said.
The former FBCCI president mentioned that Bangladesh once enjoyed favourable trade balance with Nepal and that happened as the number of Bangladesh's exportable items to that country is insignificant, but now it too went in favour of the Himalayan country.
Bangladesh could reduce the trade imbalance with the SAARC countries by boosting export of garment items, consumer goods, battery, ceramics and melamine, he mentioned.
Centre for Policy Dialogue Distinguished Fellow Mustafizur Rahman said it was a bad sign that the country's trade deficit with India has continued to rise in recent years.