India, Bangladesh working on free trade agreement: Minister Prabhu
India and Bangladesh are already working on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), or free trade agreement ...
Mr Prabhu said the Bangladesh Trade Minister along with a delegation has been invited to visit India in October to discuss the trade and investment potential between the two countries. The Minister also said India and Sri Lanka are "working closely together" to finalise a free trade agreement. "We are happy to develop trade with other countries in South Asia. Development of South Asia is hindered by lack of intra-regional trade and integration," he said.
The World Bank report - "A Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia" - says India's trade with South Asia at around USD 19 billion is only 3 per cent of its global trade worth USD 637 billion. The report also points out that current trade between India and Pakistan at a paltry USD 2 billion annually, could go up to USD 37 billion in the absence of artificial barriers.