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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


FBCCI chief’s comment on TIFA contested
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) is not clear about what it knows of the proposed Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between Dhaka and Washington.
Bangladesh: Core Group suggests signing of FTAs with three SA nations
An official body has recommended signing of bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka on goods in the first phase and similar deals on services and investment in the second phase.
European FTAs with Asian countries may harm Bangladesh
The European Union’s bilateral free trade agreements with India, Southeast Asian nations and South Korea may be a potential threat to Bangladesh, officials of the European Commission said yesterday.
Experts unaware of Tifa details
Businesspeople, economists and trade experts are unaware of what are in the draft of the proposed Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) between Bangladesh and the US.
US presses for TIFA
Visiting US assistant trade representative Michael J Delaney has stressed that Dhaka sign a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with his country to increase bilateral trade. But it’s a controversial issue in Bangladesh.
Dhaka to soon begin FTA talks with Islamabad
Bangladesh will start talks with Pakistan for a separate free trade agreement this year after it negotiates with India.
Japan disagrees to sign EPA with Bangladesh
Despite repeated efforts from Bangladesh government, Japan is yet to agree to sign Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), an accord to strengthen bilateral economic ties.
Faruk now too critical of Tifa
Bangladesh’s Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said the proposed latest draft of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) would be detrimental to Bangladesh’s interests.
Dhaka examines sensitive deals with Washington, New Delhi
Bangladesh leaders on Thursday discussed two politically sensitive deals it will be negotiating with the United States and India on trade and investment, triggering strong reactions from domestic political and civic groups.
CPB speaks against ’anti-people’ trade deals
The Communist Party of Bangladesh has said it will protest any kind of "anti-people" agreements including a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the US.