India and Bangladesh opened a border hatt at Kalaichar, in West Garo Hill District in Meghalaya in a bid to give a further boost to bilateral trade, which has increased by 45 per cent in 2010-11.
Union minister of commerce, industry and textiles Anand Sharma jointly with his Bangladesh counterpart Muhammad Faruk Khan inaugurated the border haat today.
"The Haats would focus on importance of restoration of economic and commercial ties between the people living on either side of the border," Sharma said on the occasion.
He also announced that the second border haat proposed at Balat on Indian side and Lauwaghar on Bangladesh side will also be inaugurated shortly.
"I am confident that the opening of border haats will make the border villages on both sides more prosperous through improved market accessibility for their locally produced goods. It is estimated that bilateral trade worth $20 million will take place annually from the border haats," he added.
This is the first time after 40 years that traders from India and Bangladesh met at Kalaichar in Meghalaya.