The Economic Times - 04 August 2023
Bangladesh explores to join RCEP eyeing trade in Indo-Pacific region
By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury
India’s eastern neighbour Bangladesh is exploring to join Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) , eyeing to be part of the trade bloc in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce (MoC) is expected to send by September a formal proposal to the depository and temporary secretariat of the world’s largest trade bloc at the ASEAN headquarters for the country’s membership, Financial Express of Bangladesh reported quoting local sources.
The decision to join the forum emerged from a workshop on the issue in Dhaka this Tuesday. Participants in the workshop expressed their opinion in favour of signing a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the RCEP members with an eye to facing post-graduation challenges.
They viewed that the commercial and strategic importance of Bangladesh will get a boost in regional and international environment if Bangladesh joins the bloc.
A study conducted last year by Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) showed Bangladesh’s trade with RCEP- member countries mostly concentrated on trade in goods.
Bangladesh’s export may grow 17 per cent and gross domestic product (GDP) 0.26 per cent if a free-trade agreement is signed with the bloc members, it mentioned.
Bangladesh enjoys preferential market access to many of the RCEP countries, either through preferential trade agreement (PTA) or through GSP facilities.