New MoU to Expand Border Haats in Bangladesh and India

2 November 2016

The Governments of Bangladesh and India are preparing a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expand their agreement on Bangladesh-India border ‘haats’ (markets). The MOU extends the provision to operate border haats to five years, increases the number of vendors allowed, and sets a $200 purchase limit per person.

The neighboring Governments have exchanged the draft MoU and may sign it by end 2016 or early 2017. The first border haat agreement, signed in 2010, allowed only 25 vendors from each side, with a $100 purchase limit per person.

The border haats enable selling and purchasing locally-produced goods by setting up local markets along identified border points, and transacting in local currencies or on a barter-trade basis. It aims to augment livelihoods of residents in remote towns or along the border areas, while promoting Bangladesh-India relations through people-to-people contact.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and then India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to establish border haats allowing trade in specific products in 2010 during their meeting in New Delhi in January 2010. Since October 2013, the border haats have been operating in good faith.


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