The economic development of Bangladesh is a unique model and a good example for the rest of the world, said visiting Indian Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu yesterday.
He said at first, social and human resources development took place in Bangladesh, followed by economic development.
“All the three developments happened together and it is unique,” he said.
Prabhu was speaking on Bangladesh-India trade relations at a dinner hosted by the commerce minister of Bangladesh at the Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka.
"This is a very exciting time between Bangladesh and India. But there are challenges. We look forward to working together," he said.
The Indian minister also sought more cooperation from Bangladesh for stronger negotiation on different issues in World Trade Organization (WTO).
"The future of both countries is depending on the WTO," said Prabhu.
Yesterday, he also visited Bhola to see the rural development of Bangladesh.
Prabhu proposed Bangladesh sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), a free trade agreement, to further strengthen trade, economic and investment ties between the two countries.
India also wants to further the cooperation in railways, he said.
"We are preparing a long-term multimodal logistic system to be introduced with Bangladesh in future," Prabhu said.
The ongoing trade war between the US and China is a threat to the global tariff system, he said.
Tofail Ahmed, commerce minister of Bangladesh, said Bangladesh has a big trade gap with India because the country imports various essential products like cotton, rice, machinery and yarn.
Ahmed urged his Indian counterpart to settle some trade issues pending between the two countries. He, however, did not name any particular issue.
Bangladesh's exporters face non-tariff barriers in the Indian market. Of them, jute and jute goods face anti-dumping duty and apparel exporters face countervailing duty.