Bangladeshi panel favours removal of trade barriers in SAARC

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 14:50 hrs

Kolkata, Nov 15 (IANS) A Bangladeshi panel will study the total volume of regional trade being lost in the SAARC region due to the non−tariff barriers and come out with a report on the possibility of increase in commerce if these restrictions are minimised, an official said Thursday.

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Dhaka, the oldest and most representative trade organisation of Bangladesh will study the total volume of intra−regional trade being lost in the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) region due to restrictions.

"Now, the popular hypothesis by trade economists is that if non−tariff measures are minimised, if not eliminated totally, then there is a possibility of a substantial increase in trade. But, there has not been any structural study on that. So this is an attempt to do that," MCCI secretary Shaquib Quoreshi told reporters here Thursday.

"We will try to find out in the study the total volume of trade being lost in SAARC due to the not−tariff barriers. We will do econometric modelling at least for a few products," Quoreshi said.

Stating that there were 28 partners (target respondents) under this project, he said the chamber would talk to the major chambers of the eight SAARC countries.

Quoreshi was in the city to meet representatives of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry for their views on the prevailing non−tariff hurdles and procedural and administrative measures while trading with SAARC countries.

The report would recommend how to minimise the non−tariff barriers.

The report is scheduled to be published by March 2013.

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