1. India and Bangladesh are two important trading partners in South Asia. Economic and trade relations between the two countries are shaped by their social, economic and cultural linkages. Bilateral trade flows between the two countries stood at US$ 6.6 billion in 2016, far below the existing potential, which is estimated to be around four times of the existing level. Bilateral trade is affected by a plethora of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) which act as major barriers and undermine the vast potential of trade between these two nations. NTBs are particularly harmful in case of agriculture products which not only escalate the cost of products but also restrict effective market access for producers and consumers.
2. The growth of bilateral trade in agricultural products between the two countries is affected by a large number of barriers that exist at border. These are mainly in the form of inefficient customs procedures, excessive paperwork, cumbersome export-import procedures, absence of testing facilities, lack of harmonised systems, congestion, inadequate road infrastructure, high demurrages, and sub-optimal trade related infrastructure. The cumulative impact of these barriers is very high for agricultural products which require efficient and timely movement across borders. These NTBs not only increase trade costs but also have implications for food security and livelihood of the people of both the countries.
3. With the support of USAID, CUTS International is implementing a project titled ‘Demystifying Non-Tariff Barriers to India-Bangladesh Trade in Agricultural Products and their Linkages with Food Security and Livelihood’. This project aims to identify the NTBs facing Indian exporters and importers while trading with Bangladesh in selected agricultural products. This study will provide in depth analysis of the existing NTBs to trade in agricultural and related products between India and Bangladesh. The observations from this study would help in facilitate trade in agricultural and related products between India and Bangladesh.
Funded by USAID