New Nation | Dhaka | 17 Jul 2006
Dhaka to sign preferential trade accord with Tehran
By Syful Islam
Bangladesh is going to sign a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Iran may lead to signing of Free Trade Agreement between the two Muslim nations.
Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman will visit Tehran on July 24 and July 25 where signing of the accord will take place as the two countries agreed to give some preference in their bilateral trade.
Sources said Commerce Minister of Iran Shariatmadari who visited Bangladesh in June 2005 agreed to sign PTA as he signed a Generalised Trade Agreement (GTA) that time. Bangladesh had signed the GTA with Iran in 1978 but in 2005 the two sides amended the accord.
With the signing of PTA both the countries will enjoy some preference in terms of tariff of some products, which the both sides have not given to other countries.
The PTA will remove all kind of Para-tariff and non-tariff barriers that will boost trade between the two nations. Sources said after signing the PTA none of the side will be able to impose any new Para-tariff or non-tariff barriers and even cannot increase tariff without negotiation with its counterpart.
Sources said Iran was much more interested to sign PTA with Bangladesh and had approved the proposals swiftly but Bangladesh part took longer time to approve Iran’s proposals in terms of non tariff barriers. The Ministry of Law disagreed to screening the accord following some objections raised by the National Board of Revenue.
After getting approval from the Law Ministry the Ministry of Commerce send it to the cabinet for approval.
Bangladesh and Iran has a trade volume of US$100 million yearly, which will be increased further following the signing of the PTA, sources hoped.