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Bangladesh may hold talks with ASEAN countries to sign FTA: Philippine envoy

The Daily Star | 12 May 2022

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 (FTA) to expand its export and trade, Philippine Ambassador Alan L Deniega said today.

The ambassador came up with the observation during a meeting with Rizwan Rahman, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, yesterday.

ASEAN is an organisation of 11 Southeast Asian countries, including Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Deniega said domestic tourism in Bangladesh is quite good and it is growing day by day, but infrastructure development is crucial here to attract foreign tourists.

The ambassador also opined that direct air connectivity between Dhaka and Manila can play a vital role to expand trade and investment opportunities, including tourism, between the two countries.

In the meeting, the DCCI president urged the Philippine investors to invest in the health and tourism sectors in Bangladesh.

He also proposed the Philippine envoy set up a nursing institute in Bangladesh to train medical professionals.

Rahman mentioned that the bilateral trade between the two countries was $124.24 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year, where the import and export of Bangladesh were $49.72 and $74.52 million respectively.

The signing of FTA, launch of direct air connection between Dhaka and Manila and modernisation of customs regulations can play a vital role to boost the trade and investment between the two countries, he said.

At the meeting, Akbar Hakim, president of the Bangladesh-Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stressed the need for taking initiative for arranging both ways reciprocal trade visits to enhance people to people connectivity between the two countries.

 source: The Daily Star