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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


Business leaders recommend FTA between Bangladesh and Pak
Business leaders of Bangladesh and Pakistan today recommended pursuing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries to help boost bilateral trade and investment.
Tifa is contrary to national interest
Bangladesh will lose its right to speak for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) if it signs the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) with the United States, economists at a discussion said yesterday.
Draft TIFA between USA and Bangladesh leaked: A quick analysis
USA is forcing Bangladesh to sign a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), that will bind Bangladesh to work with USA on the successful completion of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) and will provide extra facilities to USA "without prejudice to each party’s rights and obligations" under the WTO.
US for corruption clause in trade agreement with Dhaka
The US is firmly against Bangladesh’s request to exclude a clause related to bribery and corruption from the proposed Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between the two countries, reports Xinhua.
TIFA to undermine political authority
The proposed trade and investment framework agreement between Dhaka and Washington aims to establish a joint council on trade and investment by passing the political process and entrusting the fate of trade negotiations with bureaucrats.
Tifa draft finalised
Dhaka and Washington through a two-day negotiation ending yesterday finalised the draft of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) paving the way further for creating a platform to talk bilateral trade issues.
Dhaka softens on graft, transparency in TIFA: Draft agreement almost ready
Bangladesh and US trade officials are close to finalising a draft for a trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA), as Dhaka softened its positions on key debated issues.
TIFA talks start today
Dhaka is likely to soften its position on inclusion of a clause related to bribery and corruption as it enters into the third round of talks with Washington today on a trade and investment framework agreement, sources in the commerce ministry have told New Age.
USA to sign Free Trade Agreement with Bangladesh
The US ambassador Harry K Thomas said that his government and Bangladesh would sign a bilateral free trade agreement following the signing of the proposed Trade and Investment Facilitation Agreement (TIFA) that may take place shortly to exploit the business and economic potentials on both sides.
Labour, environment, IPR left out of TIFA text
The US has agreed to Bangladesh’s proposal for exclusion of issues related to labour laws, environment and intellectual property rights from the main text of a proposed trade and investment framework agreement the two countries are likely to sign some time this year.