India, Bangladesh to sign investment pact

January 30th, 2009 - 4:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) India and Bangladesh are likely to sign an agreement to protect and promote bilateral investment during External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s proposed visit to Dhaka next month.Mukherjee’s visit, likely to be around Feb 7-8, will be the first by an Indian leader to the neighbouring country after the new government in Dhaka took over.

However, there has been no formal announcement as yet, and it is not clear if the visit is still on schedule, especially in light of Mukherjee taking over as the interim finance minister while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recuperates from his heart bypass surgery.

A senior commerce ministry official said the investment protection agreement will be signed during the visit, and India will also take up the issue of renewing the trade agreement which lapses March 31.

India is the number one source of imports for Bangladesh with bilateral trade standing at $3.6 billion. Out of this, Bangladeshi exports to India account for only $342 million.

The last round of trade talks was held in 2007.

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