Apr 20, 2014, 4:12 am (BST)
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Indo-Bangla joint meeting suggests multiple visas for businessmen
DHAKA, April 3 (BSS) - Commerce ministries of Bangladesh and India have stressed on granting prominent businesspersons long- term and multiple entry visas to promote the trade and investment further between the two close-door neighbours.

"Reputed businesspersons of India and Bangladesh should normally be granted long-term multiple entry visas to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries," both the ministries suggested during Bangladesh-India commerce secretary level meeting on trade and transit held recently in New Delhi.

Bangladesh commerce secretary Md Ghulam Hussain and Indian Commerce Secretary Shri Rahul Khullar led their respective delegations in the meeting.

The Indian commerce secretary said that validity of visa should be co-terminus with working permits and suggested that reciprocal arrangement can be discussed and finalised during the forthcoming meeting between the relevant ministries of the two countries.

During the meeting a number of bilateral trade-related issues, including India's restriction on cotton export, opening branch office in India by Bangladeshi companies, Jamdani sarees and shop import from Bangladesh and acceptance of BSTI certification by India came up for discussion.

As per the request of Bangladesh side, India commerce secretary assured Bangladesh of issuing notification for operationalising the testing unit for Jamdani sarees at Kolkata before May 1, 2012.

Indian side also agreed that it would make necessary arrangement to allow importing soap by India through all land customs stations.

About the opening of branch office in India by Bangladeshi companies, Bangladesh commerce secretary informed his counter- part that Bangladeshi businesspersons are not allowed to open branch office in India.

"Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rejected the application of a Bangladeshi company after two years without giving proper justification," he added.

India side assured early solution to this issue.

Bangladesh side drew the attention of India regarding the payment problems for exports, saying that 22 garments consignments were cleared by India 'C & F' agent on the basis of non-valid documents leading to payment problems for exporters. Indian commerce secretary assured him of looking into the matter immediately.

Regarding the acceptance of test certificates issued by Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI), both sides agreed that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and BSTI would finalise the agreement on bilateral cooperation to enable mutual recognition for each other's standards for specific export products.

Expressing concern over the ban on export of cotton by India, Bangladesh emphasized that export of at least 15 lakh bales of cotton by India every year must be ensured. Both sides decided to hold further discussion over this issue in May.
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