, Dec.28 (ANI): Bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh got a shot in the arm, when border security personnel of both countries exchanged sweets at the Hili Land border post in West Bengal's South Dinajpur District.
Inspector General of Malda Frontier Kuldeep Kumar Singh said: "We have come here to strengthen and enhance bilateral relations between the two nations. They are also doing their duty like us. This is just to maintain friendly relations with them."
Recently, there was significant improvement in the trade relations between the two countries.
In 2010-11, two-way trade crossed the USD five billion dollar mark as a result of a significant increase in Bangladesh's exports to India (68 percent over the previous year) and India's exports to Bangladesh (43 percent over the previous year).
Currently, Bangladesh imports more than USD four billion worth of products from India, while India import less than USD one billion worth of products annually.
Furthermore, traditional economic and cultural links between India and Bangladesh have been greatly enhanced with Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina visiting India in January, 2010 followed by a return visit by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in September 2011.
Taking into account the trade imbalance between the two countries in favour of India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Bangladesh announced the removal of all 46-textile items from the sensitive list and zero duty access in all these 46 items for Bangladesh exports to India.
Bangladesh's exports to India in 2010-11 were USD 512.5 million while India's exports to Bangladesh in the same period were USD 4586.8 million.
India is the biggest export destination for Bangladesh outside the Western world.
India is upgrading seven main borders Land Customs Stations (LCS) as Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) at a total cost of Rs. 467 crores.
ICPs will have facilities for immigration, customs, parking, banks, warehousing, quarantine, fuelling etc.
The measure will help improve trade with Bangladesh across West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. (ANI)