India, Bangladesh economic pact over next 5 years: EIU

India and Bangladesh are expected to sign an economic partnership agreement over the next five years which will preserve trade rights for Bangladesh.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, “Over the next five years, we expect the two countries to sign a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA), which will preserve trade privileges for Bangladesh once it graduates from the UN’s least developed country status in 2026.”

The Economist Intelligence Unit has detailed the focal points of India-Bangladesh relations over the next five years.

This comes ahead of the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to Bangladesh on March 26th- his first foreign visit in the last 15 months.

“Although no major agreements are expected to be signed, we view Mr Modi’s visit as a significant show of the continuation of warm ties between the two neighbours, despite some tense undercurrents recently,” EIU said.

The CEPA will be wider than a traditional bilateral free trade agreement, addressing non-trade barriers, e-commerce, services investment and facilitation of trade at the border, EIU said.

The resolution of the Teesta River water-sharing issue, which faces opposition from the state administration in the Indian state of West Bengal, will depend on the upcoming legislative elections (March 27th-April 29th) in that state, the report said.

“We expect the outcome of the state elections to be close between the incumbent All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with the former retaining a much-weakened mandate on balance,” EIU said.