While Bangladesh may not appear to be a major player on the bilateral FTA front, it is currently under many pressures and involved in various discussions:
The government was dealt harsh arrangements from the EU in the two parties’ trade and development cooperation agreement of 2001, through which Dhaka accepted WTO-plus demands from the EU, for instance to allow corporate monopoly rights over seeds (patenting);
The government was in controversial talks with the US over a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, a preliminary to a possible FTA with Washington; but decided not to sign one in 2010 after several years of discussions. The US subsequently asked Bangladesh to sign a Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum deal, but this has not yet been signed;
India has been pushing for a bilateral FTA with Bangladesh, but the World Bank has made clear that India would benefit more;
Pakistan has been pushing for an FTA with Bangladesh as well;
Bangladesh, for its part, is interested in developing an FTA with China.
Apart from all these, the government is either negotiating or considering negotiating FTAs with Iran, Turkey, Bhutan, Malaysia, Morocco and Sri Lanka.
On a regional level, Bangladesh is a member of SAARC, which has its own FTA, as well as BIMSTEC, which also aims to develop one.
last update: May 2012
15-Jan-2015 Financial Express Dhaka, KL may ink FTA deal by June next yearMalaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed has expressed the hope that Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur (KL) would sign a Free Trade Agreement between Malaysia and Bangladesh by middle of next year
Bangladesh is, perhaps, the only country in the world which does not have any Free Trade Agreement with important trading countries.
30-Sep-2014 Prothom Alo BD to sign FTA with Czech soon: TofailBangladesh government has decided to ink a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Czech Republic to expand trade and commerce with the central European country, said Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Monday.
23-Sep-2014 Financial Express Dhaka’s lukewarm response delays FTA signing with KL : EnvoyThe planned free-trade agreement (FTA) between Bangladesh and Malaysia for enhancing bilateral trade and economic cooperation could not be signed for lukewarm response from Dhaka, the Malaysian envoy said Monday.
24-Mar-2014 Financial Express BD for economic partnership deal with JapanBangladesh on Saturday expressed its keen interest in concluding an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan.
7-Mar-2014 Govt looks to sign FTAs with rich nationsThe government plans to sign free trade agreements (FTAs) with developed countries to boost exports following similar moves by India, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said yesterday.
5-Dec-2013 Financial Express Writ challenging legality of TICFA filedA writ petition was filed with the High Court in Dhaka Wednesday challenging the legality of the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA), signed recently between Bangladesh and the USA.
28-Nov-2013 Countercurrents TICFA, political economy of US bilateralism and BangladeshIt should come as no surprise that TICFA is not really an economic cooperation or development agreement, writes Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan in Countercurrents.
26-Nov-2013 Daily Star Ticfa with US signed at lastThe government of Bangladesh, after more than a decade of talks, yesterday inked the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) with the US
5-Sep-2013 Dhaka Tribune Dhaka keen to join a free-trade moveThe government of Bangladesh has already taken up its desire to join the Trans Pacific Partnership talks through its embassy in Washington