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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


TIFA talks start today
Dhaka is likely to soften its position on inclusion of a clause related to bribery and corruption as it enters into the third round of talks with Washington today on a trade and investment framework agreement, sources in the commerce ministry have told New Age.
USA to sign Free Trade Agreement with Bangladesh
The US ambassador Harry K Thomas said that his government and Bangladesh would sign a bilateral free trade agreement following the signing of the proposed Trade and Investment Facilitation Agreement (TIFA) that may take place shortly to exploit the business and economic potentials on both sides.
Labour, environment, IPR left out of TIFA text
The US has agreed to Bangladesh’s proposal for exclusion of issues related to labour laws, environment and intellectual property rights from the main text of a proposed trade and investment framework agreement the two countries are likely to sign some time this year.
US-Bangladesh to resume TIFA talks soon
The stalled talks for signing a trade and investment framework agreement between Dhaka and Washington will resume soon since the new Bush administration has already set its agenda for coming days, said sources in the government.
No trade negotiation before Safta implementation - Bangladesh Commerce Secretary
The government will not move ahead with trade negotiations with any party before the South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta) gets implemented on January 1, 2006.
Govt to set up cell for negotiating FTAs
The Bangladesh government will set up a free trade cell (FTC) soon with a responsibility to negotiate regional and bilateral deals with a view to protecting the country’s interests in trade-related issues.
Assess strengths, needs before going for FTA
Speakers at a business session yesterday said Bangladesh and Malaysia can strike a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) after taking into account the strengths and needs of both these countries.
Saifur favours FTA with Malaysia
Bangladesh Finance Minister Saifur proposed to initiate Bangladesh-Malaysia free trade agreement if sub-regional economic bloc among the OIC [Organisation of the Islamic Conference] member-states is not possible.
Musharraf keen to seal FTA deal with Dhaka fast
Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has expressed his keenness for early conclusion of bilateral free trade agreement between Bangladesh and Pakistan for further expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries.
Pakistan keen for FTA with Bangladesh: Shaukat Aziz
Pakistan is keen to enter into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Bangladesh to foster bilateral trade and economic cooperation, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said here on Thursday.