Delhi-Dhaka trade becoming one-sided, need to balance it, says Bangladesh FM on India visitIn an interview with ThePrint, Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen also discusses how Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s ‘zero tolerance’ for terrorism has brought 'stability' to South Asia.
NAYANIMA BASU21 June, 2022
New Delhi: Trade between India and Bangladesh has been “flourishing”, but it’s not as balanced as it could be, according to the country’s foreign minister, A.K. Abdul Momen, who concluded a three-day visit to India Monday.
While Bangladesh’s exports to India have reached $2 billion, Indian shipments to the neighbouring country amounted to $14 billion in 2021. In view of this, Dhaka wants Delhi to remove India’s anti-dumping duty on jute products from Bangladesh.
“Trade and business between Bangladesh and India have been flourishing … But it is becoming a one-sided trade so we need to balance it and we need India to give us more flexibility because India has put some anti-dumping [duty] on our jute goods,” Momen said, adding that he had been “assured” that a “committee” in India would “look into” the matter.
In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with ThePrint, Momen, a former economist and diplomat, also spoke about why he thinks Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s “zero tolerance policy” on terrorism had brought “stability” to all of South Asia, the Teesta water-sharing dispute, and how India might be able to “push Myanmar” into repatriating the Rohingyas.
Momen was on a three-day trip to India to attend the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) with his Indian counterpart, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. During the visit, Momen also met Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
According to a joint statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs after the JCC, the Indian side had requested the completion of all pending border fencing at the international border, beginning from Tripura till the Bangladesh sector.
“On the issue of border fencing, both sides have decided to follow international rules,” the Bangladeshi foreign minister said, adding that he hoped India-Bangladesh bilateral ties would become “a solid relationship” within the next 50 years.
“In order to do better, we also appreciated that Bangladesh and India have a historical relationship. It’s a modern relationship. Of course, we have mutual trust, respect and confidence,” he said.
Last year, both President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Bangladesh. This year, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Hasina is expected to arrive on a reciprocal visit to India in early September.
In an interview with ThePrint, Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen also discusses how Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s ‘zero tolerance’ for terrorism has brought 'stability' to South Asia.