Shillong: India and Bangladesh held the 7th Commissioner level Joint Group of Customs meeting in Shillong on June 27-28.

The meeting was held to foster cooperation, enhance efficiency and advance shared goals in customs administration in order to strengthen collective efforts in customs enforcement, trade facilitation, and border security, the Ministry of Finance said in a press release.

For the meeting, the four member Bangladesh delegation was led by Md Kamruzzaman, Commissioner, Customs, Excise & VAT Commissionerate, Jashore. Commissioner of Customs Preventive Commissionerate, NER, Shillong, led the 10-member Indian delegation at the meeting.

In a press release, the Ministry of Finance said, "Following the meeting many pending issues at ground level were resolved and many other issues were highlighted to be escalated at higher-level appropriate forums, thereby leading to the resolution of many customs and trade related issues."

The head of Bangladesh delegation expressed gratitude to the Indian Customs for organising the meeting and making the deliberations result oriented. In a press release, MEA said, "Approved minutes were signed after both sides reached a consensus on several key issues relating to bilateral trade and customs procedures."

Highlighting the significance of this meeting, Ministry of Finance said, "This meeting therefore marks a significant milestone in the bilateral relations between Indian & Bangladesh, emphasizing our shared commitment to enhancing trade facilitation and cooperation between both the nations."

"Such constructive dialogue and partnership is essential to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of cross-border trade, promote economic growth and prosperity," it added.

On June 22, the Indian Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in Wellington, Tamil Nadu and the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) in Dhaka, Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation concerning Military Education in the field of Strategic and Operational Studies.

The MoU was signed during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's state visit to India on June 22. Both the colleges impart training to officers of tri-services, preparing them for higher staff and command responsibilities.

Moreover, they share a common ethos, training curriculum and methodology and face similar challenges. Accordingly, they further decided to collaborate and signed the MoU, for further enhancing bilateral engagements.

This MoU will assist in enhancing professional acumen, provide deep insight into strategic affairs, assist in sharing best practices and expertise as well as augment the academic capabilities of student officers and faculty members. It will also facilitate the conduct of training packages, joint seminars, faculty exchanges, and reciprocal instructor visits to name a few.

(With Inputs From Agencies)