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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


FTA being prioritised for trade expansion: minister
Bangladesh gives the highest priority to free trade agreement for expansion of the country’s trade and export, Commerce minister said
FTA with US not viable: government study
Signing a free trade agreement with the United States will not be viable for Bangladesh if the US does not agree to enter into such agreement only on trade in goods, trade officials said referring to a government feasibility study.
Dhaka to form body to negotiate signing FTA with Malaysia
Bangladesh will form a committee to negotiate signing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Malaysia.
Fresh move to sign FTA with Malaysia
Bangladesh will resume the long-stalled negotiation on free trade pact with Malaysia soon to pave the way for a greater trade and investment opportunities for both countries.
Bangladesh keen to sign FTA with South American trade bloc to promote export
Bangladesh has expressed it interest to sign FTA with South American trade bloc Mercosur at an early date to tap the under-exploited South American market.
Bangladesh plans FTA with South American trade bloc
Bangladesh is considering entering into a free trade agreement with Mercosur, a South American trade bloc, finding potentials for export of some major products produced in the country.
Bangladesh, Indonesia set to start PTA negotiation
Bangladesh and Indonesia are set to start a negotiation this month for signing a preferential trade agreement to boost bilateral trade
ICSID: How impartial is the main BIT arbitration forum of Bangladesh?
The very operational narratives of ICSID arbitrators inculcate an inherent bias towards foreign investors, who are overwhelmingly from European and North America.
Enter into FTA with Russia, knitwear players urge Centre
Knitwear industrialists have urged the central government to enter into a free trade agreement with Russia, saying the former Soviet Union had given green signal to enter into such a treaty with Bangladesh.
No FTAs before LDC graduation
Bangladesh will graduate from the least-developed country bracket in 2024, three years after which free trade agreements will be crucial in maintaining its comparative advantage in international trade.