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Bangladesh to seek removal trade barriers during Pranab Mukherjee's visit

A day before India's finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's arrival here for a short visit, Bangladesh today said it would ask for expeditious removal of barriers to its exports to the neighbouring country.

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A day before India's finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's arrival here for a short visit, Bangladesh today said it would ask for expeditious removal of barriers to its exports to the neighbouring country.

"We are set to ask India to expedite a process to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers on Bangladesh products in Indian market as the senior Indian leader is coming tomorrow," commerce minister Faruque Khan said.

He said notes were forwarded to concerned ministries to highlight the trade barrier issues during Mukherjee’s visit.

Officials here earlier said that Bangladesh products were being faced with obstructions by more than one Indian authorities despite the deals reached during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s talks with her counterpart Manmohan Singh in January this year in New Delhi.

In 2009-10, India's exports were USD 2.43 billion while imports were only USD 254 million, making trade deficit hugely in favour of India.

"The process of implementing the political level decisions is slower than it is expected largely due to bureaucratic entangles," Khan said when asked for comments on newspaper reports that Mukherjee’s visit was partly aimed to sooth apparently upset Bangladeshi leadership about the slow progress in implementing the deals reached during Hasina’s New Delhi visit.

Mukherjee is expected to review the implementation of the agreements reached between the two countries.

Foreign ministry officials said the entire gamut of bilateral relations and issues, including Teesta river water-sharing, was likely to come up for discussions between the visiting minister and Bangladesh leaders.

"The finance minister of India will witness signing of the $1 billion Line of Credit agreement by CMD, EXIM Bank of India, and Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD) of Bangladesh," an Indian High Commission statement said earlier.

The credit deal was agreed upon during Hasina's visit to New Delhi.

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