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Bangladesh, Singapore to start talks to ink FTA this year

The Financial Express | 3 November 2022

Bangladesh, Singapore to start talks to ink FTA this year


Bangladesh and Singapore are expected to start negotiations soon to ink a free trade agreement (FTA) within this year, aiming to boost investment and trade between the countries.

As part of the move, Singapore’s trade minister is likely to visit Bangladesh on November 15-17 next. Commerce minister of Bangladesh and the visiting Singaporean minister will sign a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) in this connection, officials said.

The two Asian nations have already formed a high-powered working group, according to an official of the commerce ministry.

Singapore is one of the important trade partners of Bangladesh - the developed country is important for technology transfer and product trade and as a supply chain hub, the senior official said.

"We will start necessary negotiations soon with an eye to signing an FTA between Bangladesh and Singapore," he mentioned.

However, the FTA deal is a bit complicated, said the official, adding that some issues, including revenue losses, are involved with FTAs as all products of both the countries enjoy duty-free facilities under FTAs. Bangladesh export to Singapore was US$127.11 million in the last fiscal year of 2021-22.

Currently, the principal export products of Bangladesh to Singapore are knitwear, woven garments, agricultural products, engineering products, home textile, etc.

Singaporean firms have invested more than $8.0 billion in the country since 2020.

There are 5.6 million people in Singapore. It is a key trade, transport and financial hub in Asia.

 source: The Financial Express