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Bangladesh

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
Photo: Solidarity Center/CC BY-ND 2.0


Bangladesh wants to start negotiations with China for FTA: Titu
The government wants to start formal negotiation for the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with China as the joint feasibility study is complete for the trade deal, State Minister for Commerce Ahasanul Islam Titu said.
Bangladesh, Japan begin formal talks to sign trade deal
Bangladesh and Japan have formally begun the negotiation to strike a trade deal to allow manufacturers to keep enjoying duty-free export benefits in the post-LDC era and draw investments from the Far East nation.
Dhaka, Tokyo hold 1st round of negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreement
Firing the five-day first round of negotiations for the Japan-Bangladesh Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) held in Dhaka from 19 May to 23 May, both sides decided to work on scheduling the dates of the second round of negotiations through diplomatic channels.
Bangladesh, Nepal stress finalizing PTA
Bangladesh and Nepal in a commerce secretary level meeting put emphasis on finalizing the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), highlighting its significance in boosting bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Nepal.
Brazilian FM welcomes Bangladesh’s interest in Preferential Trade Agreement
Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira welcomed Bangladesh’s interest in reaching a MERCOSUR-Bangladesh Preferential Trade Agreement during a meeting with Bangladeshi foreign ministry officials in Dhaka.
Dhaka, Beijing will begin FTA negotiations soon
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh said Bangladesh and China have exchanged the feasibility study reports on free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries last week, which he sees as a major development in Dhaka-Beijing economic and trade cooperation.
Bangladesh seeks Belarus’s support to sign FTA with EEC
Bangladesh’s Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has sought Belarus’s support for signing a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Commission.
UAE FM stresses signing of Cepa, activating JBC for economic partnership with Bangladesh
United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of signing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and activating the Joint Business Council for economic partnership with Bangladesh.
Dhaka-New Delhi negotiation on CEPA to begin this year
Bangladesh and India are expected to commence negotiations on the proposed CEPA within this year, despite New Delhi taking time for preparation. This move is part of Dhaka’s initiative to increase bilateral trade and investment with its second-largest trade partner.
Bangladesh, India agree to conclude CEPA process
Bangladesh and India agree to wrap up negotiations on a much-vaunted comprehensive partnership forum by 2026, trying to give their close cooperation a further fillip.