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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 may hold talks with ASEAN countries to sign FTA: Philippine envoy
After the graduation to a developing nation, Bangladesh may take the initiative for holding discussions with ASEAN countries to sign free trade agreement, Philippine Ambassador said.
Bangladesh wants to sign CEPA with India in a year
Bangladesh is keen to clinch a Free Trade Agreement not only with India but also with Indonesia and Sri Lanka in a year.
Bangladesh agog to sign FTA with ASEAN
Bangladesh now works vigorously to sign free-trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN before LDC graduation to make up for loss of preferential trading facility following exit from the poor-country club.
Govt eyes FTAs with seven countries, two blocs
The government is considering seven countries and two regional blocs as potential partners for signing free trade agreements to retain duty-free market access of Bangladeshi products after the graduation from the least developed country to a developing one in 2026.
Bangladesh set to move PTA proposal to Nepal
Bangladesh is set to put forward a package of proposals, including the signing of Preferential Trade Agreement, with Nepal during the upcoming foreign office consultation, officials say.
Bangladesh switching to RTA for larger regional trade
Bangladesh is switching to a new set of policy guidelines titled ’Regional Trade Agreement (RTA)’ as the existing FTA regime is deemed obsolete for helping Bangladesh tackle post-graduation trade challenges.
Dhaka, Tokyo look for free trade agreement
Bangladesh and Japan would explore scopes for signing a free trade agreement for boosting bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation.
FTAs top priority in Bangladesh’s post-LDC strategy
While negotiations are underway with the WTO and the EU to get existing trade benefits extended beyond LDC graduation, Bangladesh sign FTAs with Canada, Japan, China, India, South Korea, Russia, and Australia before 2026.
Joint study on India-Bangladesh trade pact to be finalised soon: commerce ministry
Both countries will soon finalise a joint study on the prospects of entering into a bilateral free trade agreement, to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
Egypt, Bangladesh to launch direct flights in April targeting intra-regional trade stimulation
Minister for Foreign Affairs in Bangladesh said that his country is in discussions with Egypt regarding the signing of a free trade agreement to cancel customs tariffs, which will foster bilateral trade.