Trade between India and Bangladesh could almost double to $10 billion by 2018, if non-tariff barriers and infrastructure related-issues are resolved, the Confederation of Indian Industry said yesterday.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Bangladesh on June 25-27 will "turn a new leaf in bilateral relations" between the two neighbours, CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.
It will intensify trade and investment between the two countries, he said. It is Swaraj's first stand-alone visit abroad as the external affairs minister.
Trade between India and Bangladesh stood at $6.6 billion in 2013-14, with India's exports at $6.1 billion and imports from Bangladesh at $462 million, representing more than double the value of $2.7 billion five years ago.
Trade imbalance in favour of India and a decline in Bangladesh exports to India are a cause of concern, adding that skewed trade could be redressed with greater investment participation of Indian companies in Bangladesh, the CII said.
Indian investments in the eastern neighbour stood at a cumulative $2.5 billion in 2013 and have been surging in the last three years.
"Bangladesh and India offer natural markets for each other's exports and have advantages of reduced transaction costs and quicker delivery due to geographical proximity and common language," Banerjee said.