Bangladesh needs bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with major south Asian nations to get maximum trade benefits from South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta), Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury said yesterday.
India and Bangladesh have agreed on a time-bound programme to recognise each other’s certification of commodities like food products, agro-products, textiles and leather, in a bid to remove a major non-tariff barrier in bilateral trade.
The revised India-Bangladesh bilateral trade agreement is likely to be signed soon. The modalities for the agreement were thrashed out at a joint working group meeting of the two countries yesterday.
Bangladesh is set to sign a trade and investment accord with the US aimed to give bilateral trade and commerce a shape, as trade officials of the two countries sit at the commerce ministry today to thrash out some minor outstanding issues.
Bangladesh has agreed to sign the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the United States within the next two to three months.
When the seven SAARC members signed the free trade agreement (SAFTA) in January 2004, there was some scepticism regarding its progress and implementation, given that SAARC itself had been mired under inter-state tensions.