DOT Desk:  Speakers at a recent webinar emphasised the importance of border haats (markets), labelling them an effective tool to reduce cross-border informal trade and strengthen people-to-people connectivity among residents living at frontiers, reports TBS.
 This came at a briefing on the publication of two papers focusing on border haats between India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, read a press release issued by CUTS International – an Indian non-profit organisation dealing with equal rights, amenities, education, food and development opportunities.
 Speaking on the occasion, CUTS International Executive Director Bipul Chatterjee discussed the opportunities and challenges regarding the establishment of border haats between India-Myanmar and Bangladesh-Myanmar.  The idea of border haats was conceived by the governments of India and Bangladesh.
In her address, Nazneen Ahmed, senior research fellow, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, who also authored the briefing paper titled “Border Haats on Bangladesh-Myanmar Border Opportunities and Challenges,” mentioned that informal trade is predominant between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The total trade volume between Bangladesh and Myanmar was approximately $75 million during 2013-14 while informal trade was roughly $300 million.