Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Dhaka has opted for a ‘go slow’ approach to a proposal by Delhi which wants to set up markets at some border points to facilitate commodity exchange between the small traders of the two countries.

“We are conducting a feasibility study after India proposed to set up markets in border towns,” Commerce Secretary Firoz Ahmed was quoted by the New Age, a local newspaper, as saying.
A local team comprising officials of the commerce ministry, National Board of Revenue and foreign ministry has already visited some of the proposed border towns. An Indian team also joined the visitors when they went to the proposed sites of Simghat, Kalairchar and Gomaghat in Meghalaya.
Local traders will not be interested as those sites are located in the remotest part of the country, the secretary said, adding that further negotiations were needed before such commodity exchange centres began functioning.

Experts pointed out that such border trade would not help Dhaka to reduce the ever-widening trade gap with India.

They cautioned that emphasis on broader issues like para-tariff, negative list of products and duty-free access of goods under international and regional trade pacts should not be diminished due to the border trade proposal, the newspaper reported.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-13August09-2:59 am (BST)