CEPA: When it comes to trade with Bangladesh, India is far behind China

On September 6, prime minister Narendra Modi announced that India and Bangladesh would soon start negotiations on a bilateral comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA). Even though informal talks have been going on between the countries since 2018, Bangladesh's prime minister gave a green signal for CEPA on August 18, ahead of her four-day visit to India.

Bangladesh has now left the list of the most backward countries of the world. Bangladesh has made remarkable achievements in manufacturing and agricultural exports, as well as in the fields of health, women’s development and education.

In the last few years, it has become one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. However, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has come to India at a time when there is heavy pressure on its currency reserves due to oil-gas, machinery and raw material prices in the international market.

To get out of its immediate economic crisis, it has asked for a loan of $ 400 billion from the IMF.

Obviously, Bangladesh needs India’s help a lot at such a time. But for India also the need of Bangladesh has increased a lot. India’s strategic dependence on Bangladesh has increased significantly in view of the current strategic situation in Asia and rising tensions with neighbors like China and Pakistan.