Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Bangladesh

Context:

  • The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal today said India is looking to advance the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Bangladesh. Addressing the “Inaugural session of India-Bangladesh Stakeholder’s meet”, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Shri Goyal said India-Bangladesh bilateral relationship is reaching new heights due to the efforts of both the Prime Ministers, – Shri Narendra Modi & H.E. Sheikh Hasina.

 

What is CEPA?

  • It is a kind of free trade pact which covers negotiation on the trade in services and investment, and other areas of economic partnership.
  • It may even consider negotiation on areas such as trade facilitation and customs cooperation & competition.

 

Area of Focus:

  1. Uninterrupted Supply chain is need of the hour: As H.E. Sheikh Hasina said, “Connectivity is productivity”; despite COVID-19, India and Bangladesh maintained uninterrupted supply chain between the two countries.
  2. Also improving this connectivity further is imperative for expansion bilateral trade and realisation of the investment potential of Bangladesh and eastern India.
  3. Need to give more impetus to Joint Production of Defence Equipment
  4. Explore potential areas of investments, like Textiles, Jute products, Leather & Footwear, APIs for Pharmaceuticals, Medical Equipment, Digital Health & Education Services, Agribusiness, Electronics, Renewable Energy, etc.
  5. India and Bangladesh can become ‘Pharmacy of the world’: During COVID-19, vaccines produced in India, –  Covaxin & Covishield created a niche for themselves as safe vaccines.

 

Way Forward:
  • Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia, So there is immense potential in further increasing the trade.

Since 2014 India has scaled up trade and economic engagement as collaborators and not competitors.

Source: THE HINDU

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