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Bangladesh

While Bangladesh may not appear to be a major player on the bilateral FTA front, it is currently under many pressures and involved in various discussions:

- The government was dealt harsh arrangements from the EU in the two parties’ trade and development cooperation agreement of 2001, through which Dhaka accepted WTO-plus demands from the EU, for instance to allow corporate monopoly rights over seeds (patenting);
- The government was in controversial talks with the US over a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, a preliminary to a possible FTA with Washington; but decided not to sign one in 2010 after several years of discussions. The US subsequently asked Bangladesh to sign a Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum deal, but this has not yet been signed;
-  India has been pushing for a bilateral FTA with Bangladesh, but the World Bank has made clear that India would benefit more;
- Pakistan has been pushing for an FTA with Bangladesh as well;
- Bangladesh, for its part, is interested in developing an FTA with China.

Apart from all these, the government is either negotiating or considering negotiating FTAs with Iran, Turkey, Bhutan, Malaysia, Morocco and Sri Lanka.

On a regional level, Bangladesh is a member of SAARC, which has its own FTA, as well as BIMSTEC, which also aims to develop one.

last update: May 2012


FTA with neighbours
The Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce has decided to engage consultants to conduct a study and identify benefits and possible risks of signing bilateral trade agreements like Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with neighbouring countries.
Bilateral Free Trade Agreement deal with neighbouring countries: consultants to point out benefits, risks
The Bangladesh commerce ministry is going to consultants to run a study to identify the benefits and possible risks of signing any bilateral trade agreement (FTA) with neighbouring countries.
Bangladesh to vet free trade pacts
Bangladesh has decided to appoint an international trade consultant to vet trade proposals with South Asian countries to ensure they are beneficial for Dhaka.
Bangladesh keen on free trade agreement
Bangladesh is keen to sign a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India.
Bilateral agreement on trade likely today: Iran to recruit docs, engineers
Iran is likely to offer Bangladeshi doctors, engineers and professionals jobs in their country. Iran has already prepared a list of 150 exportable products of Bangladesh, which it will import through negotiations.
Malaysia agrees to examine Bangladesh’s plea for reducing trade gap
Malaysia has agreed to examine Bangladesh’s cause of reducing trade imbalance heavily tilted towards Kuala Lumpur as the first day of official level talks of the two-day Joint Commission meeting concluded here yesterday.
Dhaka, KL Jt body meets today: FTA, duty-free access for 19 goods on agenda
The 3rd Bangladesh-Malaysia Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) begins here today (Monday) after a hiatus of over 10 years to explore intensified cooperation in potential sectors of trade, investment and manpower.
Bangladesh to propose FTA with Malaysia
Bangladesh will propose a Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia in Bangladesh-Malaysia Joint Commission meeting to be held on June 6-7, after a break of 10 years.
Burma-Bangladesh trade agreement expires
With no transactions in the past two years, the term of the Account Trade Arrangement (ATA) between Burma and Bangladesh has expired without any initiative for renewal.
Dhaka hesitant to sign FTA with neighbours
Bangladesh is hesitant to take any practical move to sign free trade agreement (FTA) as it has been sitting on several proposals from many neighbouring countries that have done so among themselves for their own benefits.