Bangladesh's export suffers due to imposition of India's anti-dumping duty on jute products and the latter's ban on the import of edible oil from Bangladesh, speakers said at a programme on Tuesday.
A mutual economic development is possible through Bangladesh-India joint ventures, industrial diversification and market diversification, they observed.
The observation came at a conference titled "India-Bangladesh digital conference on agriculture sector followed by B2B session".
The virtual programme was jointly organised by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industries.
In his address, Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said besides its imposition of anti-dumping duties on jute products, India is mulling over slapping a further ban on jute seed exports.
Bangladesh used to export edible oil, which India has stopped importing.
"Our exports have been severely affected by these measures," he said, calling upon India for a review of its decisions.
Speaking on the occasion, traders said the private sector imports from India goods worth hundreds of millions of dollar every year which have potential for further growth.
They added that the two countries have the opportunity to work together to produce various hybrid seeds including jute, onion and vegetables.
In his address, FBCCI president Sheikh Fazle Fahim said Bangladesh and India can cooperate to develop agriculture sector through farm mechanisation, seed development and the development of food processing industry."
"We want Indian companies invest here so we can work together to develop seeds and products."
Investment will actually create new jobs in the country, he said, adding: "If we work together for product development, it will meet our local demand as well as and play a role in the global supply chain."
Taking the floor, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzak said primarily, India stopped exporting onion, and later, the onion seeds.
"We would welcome India's lifting of ban on the onion seed exports."
Discussions are under way to prevent India's likely restriction on jute seeds, and both the neighbouring countries will benefit if business barriers are lifted.
"We want cooperation in agriculture processing," the agriculture minister said, adding that Indian companies can set up manufacturing plants in the economic zones of Bangladesh.
He said 8-9 thousand tractors are imported every year, of which 5-6 thousand come from India.
The annual market for agricultural machinery in Bangladesh is about $1.2 billion which is growing at a rate of 10% per annum.
If India invests in this huge market both publicly and privately, both countries will benefit, observed the minister.
Industry and Commerce Minister of India Piyush Goyal said more than 60% of people in both India and Bangladesh are involved in agriculture.
India is keen on investing and co-operating with Bangladesh in all areas of agriculture, with greater emphasis on agriculture mechanisation, food processing and fish-aquaculture.
He also hoped that the global processed food market would be in control of the two countries if they work together in food processing.
He said India has already been working on the development of railways, and at the same time, it is interested in working in various sectors including energy and transport.
Mahindra and Mahindra Limited Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Pawan Goenka said they are interested in investing in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is one of the top three markets for Mahindra and Mahindra, he observed.
In his address, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswamy said agriculture is the mainstay of the two countries.
"So if India and Bangladesh work together, there is an opportunity to do great work in agriculture and agro-processing sectors," he added.