The country’s trade gap with India in the first quarter of the current financial year 2016-17 slightly increased to $1.11 billion from $1.10 billion due to higher import payments against fall in export earnings.
The trade gap was high as different non-tariff barriers continued to limit Bangladesh’s exports to the neighbouring country, said economists and experts.
Bangladesh’s imports from India stood at $1.265 billion in July-September of the FY17 whereas exports stood at $153.61 million during the period.
The trade gap in July-September in the FY16 was $1.10 billion with an export figure of $160.39 million and import of $1.266 billion.
The country’s trade gap with India in the FY16 declined to $4.76 billion from $5.28 billion in the FY15 due to rise in export earnings.
But, the trade gap with India increased in the first quarter of this fiscal year as the export earnings from the neighbouring country decreased by 4.23 per cent in the first quarter of the FY16 from the same period a fiscal year ago.
A BB official told New Age on Tuesday that the country’s export of jute and readymade garment products to India had decreased in the first quarter of the FY17 which played a role in increasing the trade deficit with the neighbouring country.
Former finance adviser to interim government AB Mirza Azizul Islam told New Age last week that the trade deficit of Bangladesh against India remained high as different non-tariff barriers continued to limit Bangladesh’s exports to that country.
The businesspeople have long been raising their concern in this connection but the India’s government is yet to mitigate the problem, he said.
Aziz said the Bangladesh government should take step to continue discussion with New Delhi with a view to removing the non-tariff barrier.
He said that the country’s businesspeople mainly imported industrial raw materials, cotton and intermediary goods from India.
‘The importers have no option to avoid the imports as such products are not produced in the country. So we have to try to increase the export volume by strengthening the bilateral relationship with the neighbouring country,’ the economist said.
Besides, the country’s industrial sector has also been facing a production crisis due to the existing dull business that might have played a role in increasing the trade deficit between the two countries, he said.
‘It is a natural phenomenon that Bangladesh usually faces a deficit with the neighbouring country considering the volume of India’s economy. But, the size of the deficit it has been maintaining for years is not acceptable,’ Aziz said.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Trade & Commerce