India has urged Bangladesh to use Kolkata and Haldia ports for transhipment purposes.
The initiative can make coastal shipping more cost effective for bilateral trade, thereby shifting cargo from the costly land route, and create an opportunity for Bangladeshi garment exporters to reach European and American markets avoiding congestion at the Chittagong port.
Indian customs authorities have already cleared the deck for Bangladesh to use Haldia as a transhipment port. However, Bangladesh is yet to approve the same. The proposal was reiterated at a ministerial meeting in Dhaka earlier this week.
At the crux of the proposal is the growing need to augment handling capacities on either side, keeping in tune with growing trade volumes.
India-Bangladesh trade grew 38 per cent to $9.1 billion over the last four years. On a year-on-year basis, the trade grew 24 per cent in 2017-18. This was followed by nearly 22 per cent growth in April-July 2018. Read more
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