Neighbouring Indian state Mizoram is keen to commence trades with Bangladesh for exporting and importing various types of products between the two countries.
The state is eager to independently import garments, toiletries, sanitary ware, plastic and juice from Bangladesh, overcoming various tariffs and non-tariff barriers imposed by the Indian central government.
On the other hand, the state is interested in exporting stone, bamboo, cane, ginger, pepper and wood, said visiting Commerce and Industry Minister of Mizoram R Lalthankliana at a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Tipu Munshi at the secretariat on Sunday.
"It's an opportunity for us because we also want to increase our exports with India, especially the Seven Sisters. Mizoram is showing a lot of interest. We hope that Bangladesh's exports with India will increase in the future," Tipu Munshi said in a briefing after the meeting.
R Lalthankliana said, "Though Mizoram is a state it has a separate constitution. According to central bank rules, it can decide independently on international trade. We are doing business with Myanmar without the approval of the central government. There is an opportunity to import and export in the same way as Bangladesh."
Lalthankliana said Bangladesh shares a 319 km long border with Mizoram and expressed interest in developing infrastructure in Bangladesh to boost trade with the state.
Tipu Munshi said Mizoram also proposed to increase the number of Border haats to boost trade. They have shown interest in setting up haats in at least four points. Border haat will be inaugurated very soon in their interest.
A small bridge would need to be built near Sajek Point in Bandarban to increase road connectivity with Mizoram. He would visit the Mizoram border on 7 April to inspect the area, he added.
He said the state also wants to increase waterway transportation with Bangladesh. They want to transport imported and exported goods by road and waterway using Chittagong port, which will increase the revenue of Bangladesh.