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Bangladesh, Pakistan to discuss FTA issues

The New Nation, Dhaka

Bangladesh, Pakistan to discuss FTA issues

By BDNEWS, Dhaka

19 August 2006

The first meeting of the Bangladesh-Pakistan Joint Business Council expected to kick-off in Dhaka next week would give priority to issues relating to signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, sources said.

" Signing of a free trade deal would top the agenda of the meeting to be held on August 27. Both the governments concerned have agreed to ink the deal by September," Mir Nasir Hossain, President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), told BDNEWS.

Earlier, during the visit of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to Pakistan in February this year, the governments of the both the countries had agreed to have a bilateral FTA before September 30 this year.

Mir Nasir Hossain said the council would discuss about selection of commodities that would come under the trade pact. We would also talk about elimination of existing non-tariff barriers (NTBs) between the two countries, he said.

Referring to raising of trade target to US$ 1b between the two countries, he said trade between the two countries was being hampered due to absence of direct shipping line between Chittagong and Karachi.