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Dhaka wants revised list of products from Jakarta before signing PTA

Dhaka Tribune - 28 September 2022

Dhaka wants revised list of products from Jakarta before signing PTA

Dhaka has sought a revised list of goods on which Jakarta can offer tariff concessions for Bangladeshi products before signing the proposed preferential trade agreement (PTA.)

The Commerce Ministry sent a letter to the Indonesian authorities concerned through foreign ministry on Monday.

Bilateral free-trade or preferential-trade pact is a matter of negotiations between two countries. No country does come forward if a deal goes against its interests, a trade source said.

Indonesia has recently proposed that the signing of the agreement could be conducted at the 37th Trade Expo Indonesia on October 19-23.

Both Dhaka and Jakarta have already exchanged the lists of 300 products each.

The proposed PTA was due for signing in 2021 but delayed as Bangladesh RMG products were not on the list of 48 goods, an FTA wing official of the ministry said.

During the Jakarta tour in July, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen had talks with the Indonesian ministers of trade and industries.

Both sides reviewed the current state of bilateral trade and emphasized the conclusion of the PTA this year marking the golden jubilee of the Dhaka-Jakarta diplomatic ties.

Momen requested the Indonesian side to favourably consider inclusion of RMG items in the products’ list under the PTA to address the trade gap between the two.

The volume of import-export trade between Bangladesh and Indonesia stood at $1.9 billion in fiscal year 2021-22, showing immense potential for further growth.

Indonesia is a large market for Bangladeshi medicines, agricultural products, poultry, jute and leather goods, and footwear.

The volume of export was more than $78 million in the same fiscal year.

 source: Dhaka Tribune