Cutting trade gap with India not possible now
The possibility of tilting the trade balance with neighbouring India into Bangladesh's favour is very slim, said Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday in the parliament.
“We are yet to reach that position,” he said, adding that Bangladesh would have to wait until 2041 to bring the trade balance in its favour.
Bangladesh imports products worth nearly $6 billion from India, while its exports to the neighbouring country do not amount to more than $700 million.
He dismissed suggestions that the trade gap is damaging for the country, while citing the case with the US to back his point: Bangladesh's exports to the US stand at about $6 billion whereas its imports from the US amount to not even $1 billion, according to Ahmed.
“Bangladesh has to import from India for its own interest.”
Ahmed also touched upon the current rice stock. The rice market is now 'stable' following the 26 percentage points slash in duty for its import.
The prices of other essential commodities are normal and stable at present as the government has been able to combat dishonest businessmen and middlemen, who were involved in the price spiral of different essentials.
“To reduce unemployment, the present government is considering the issue of sending workers with the utmost priority to countries that recruit workers from Bangladesh.”
As of October, 8.34 lakh Bangladeshi workers went abroad, he said.