Bangladesh softens stance on gas sale to India

Vol 3, PW 24 (22 Dec 99) News in Brief

Tofail Ahmed, Bangladesh commerce and industry minister, has hinted that Dhaka may drop its objection over gas sales to India.

After meeting domestic requirements, we may export, Ahmed told the opening session of the Indo-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce in Calcutta on Monday (20th December). Ahmed said Bangladeshs immediate priority is to produce value added products such as fertiliser, using natural gas.

We can export urea to India and reduce our trade deficit, he adds. India exports goods worth $1bn per annum to Bangladesh, while Bangladesh exports just $60m to India.

Ahmed called on the Indian government to remove import duty on 25 items to help reduce the trade imbalance. To sustain a balanced economic relationship, it is necessary that issues are addressed in a spirit of friendship and understanding.