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Overtaking Hong Kong as trading partner, Bangladesh set to import more cotton from India

India-Bangladesh trade

India is likely to increase its cotton exports to Bangladesh, which has overtaken Hong Kong to become India's fourth largest importer.

According to a website Fibre2Fashion.com, the MoU will be handled by the Cotton Corporation of India Limited (CCI), which will facilitate export of at least 10 lakh bales of cotton.

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“It was scheduled to be signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh this year, but could not be signed due to state elections,” the website said.

It also said that this is the first time that CCI is trying to enter the export market directly. Both the countries are in the final stages of negotiations.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has overtaken Hong Kong to become the fourth largest export destination for India. In the sub-continent region, it is India’s largest trading partner.

India’s imports from Bangladesh have also risen steadily over the last few years.

“As Bangladesh prepares to graduate from the list of least developed countries (LDC), economic and trade collaboration between New Delhi and Dhaka will further go up. The focus has to be on increasing connectivity and trade activities in the region,” Bipul Chatterjee, executive director, CUTS International told India Narrative.

A report by the Financial Express, Dhaka said that Bangladesh's export to the SAARC nations has been rising year on year, “and it has swelled by 88 per cent in the last five years.”

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The newspaper also noted that among the South Asian markets, India is the main destination of Bangladeshi products, followed by Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The exports sector has played a major role in pushing Bangladesh’s growth story. Recently, the International Finance Corporation said that Bangladesh now needs to embark on a new round of reforms to strengthen and modernize the private sector in a bid to unleash the country's potential to drive diversified, export-led growth and create jobs.