Bangladesh and India yesterday jointly opened the third border haat along the Feni-Tripura frontier in an effort to boost smooth trading between people of the two countries.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the haat.
The haat will be on the Chhagalnaia border in Feni district. On the Indian side, the area falls under Srinagar, Tripura.
“I hope this border haat will provide a common marketplace for people along the border and will increase the volume of trade between the two countries,” Ahmed said in his speech.
“I strongly believe the facility would not only help the people of the border to improve their fates through bilateral trade but also strengthen economic and cultural ties,” he said.
“This haat is a symbol of our friendship,” Ahmed said. The commodities sold at the haat will be free of duty, while traders can use Bangladeshi taka or Indian rupees or a barter system for transactions.
However, the estimated value of such purchases shall not exceed an equivalent of $100 for any particular day, the minister said.
The operation of the first border haat was launched in July 2011, at Baliamari of Kurigram district of Bangladesh and Kalaichar of West Garo Hills border of India.
The second border haat began operations in May 2012 at Dalora at Sunamganj district of Bangladesh and Balat at East Khasi Hills border of India.
“Opening of the third border haat will herald a new chapter of cooperation in Bangladesh-India bilateral trade. It will make the border villages on both sides more prosperous through improved market access for the locally produced goods,” the minister said.
Locally produced vegetables, fruits, fruit juice, eggs, dry fish, chicken, wooden furniture, soap, potato, processed foods, spices, bamboo, bamboo grass and broomstick, home textiles, garments, melamine products, and small agricultural tools like plough, axe, spade and chisel will be traded at the haat, he said.
People within a five-kilometre radius of the haat will be allowed to enter the market by presenting identity cards.