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Abstract: Though trade between India and Bangladesh forms only a small part of the total trade, enhancing bilateral trade is of high importance to both countries. For India, increase in trade with Bangladesh would help to address many concerns of economic isolation of its backward north eastern states and generate new market opportunities for small-scale producers from the impoverished hinterlands of eastern states. For Bangladesh, wider areas of cooperation, investment and allied development opportunities will be thrown open with greater trade openness with India. Moreover, both India and Bangladesh has long-standing commitments toward regional economic cooperation in South Asia, of which their bilateral trade is a significant part. Bilateral economic relation between India and Bangladesh has grown since the latter got independence in 1971, albeit at a slow pace. Ups and downs in the political relations between the two countries have had a strong bearing on development of their economic ties. In recent years, both countries have registered good growth rates and have made significant progress in social development. Bilateral trade has also grown, as a result of open economic policy outlook of both countries. Among South East Asian countries, Bangladesh is the largest trading partner of India, with total bilateral trade crossing US$ 5.5 billion in the year 20122. The two-way trade flow between them was US$ 1.08 billion in year 2002. This puts the annual average growth in trade at about 4.7 percent. The present paper tries to highlight the problems and prospects of border trade for North-East India and Bangladesh as a part of India’s look east policy.
Key words: India’s look East Policy, Bilateral trade, South-East Asia, look-East Policy