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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


Govt to set up cell for negotiating FTAs
The Bangladesh government will set up a free trade cell (FTC) soon with a responsibility to negotiate regional and bilateral deals with a view to protecting the country’s interests in trade-related issues.
Assess strengths, needs before going for FTA
Speakers at a business session yesterday said Bangladesh and Malaysia can strike a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) after taking into account the strengths and needs of both these countries.
Saifur favours FTA with Malaysia
Bangladesh Finance Minister Saifur proposed to initiate Bangladesh-Malaysia free trade agreement if sub-regional economic bloc among the OIC [Organisation of the Islamic Conference] member-states is not possible.
Musharraf keen to seal FTA deal with Dhaka fast
Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has expressed his keenness for early conclusion of bilateral free trade agreement between Bangladesh and Pakistan for further expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries.
Pakistan keen for FTA with Bangladesh: Shaukat Aziz
Pakistan is keen to enter into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Bangladesh to foster bilateral trade and economic cooperation, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said here on Thursday.
Govt begins consultations with industries on SAFTA, BIMSTEC benefits
The government has started a series of consultations with industries to have a clear-cut idea about the sectors that can enjoy the benefits of the SAFTA and BIMSTEC deals.
Bangladesh to sign free trade agreement with Morocco
Bangladesh is set to sign its first bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) - with Morocco - despite reservations by its own research wing.
Bilateral trade talks falter after enthusiastic starts
Bangladesh is yet to make any clear headway in its bilateral talks in free trade agreements with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as trade and investment framework agreement with the United States.
BGD: Decide fast about free trade deals
A consultative committee on free trade has suggested the government to make urgent political decision regarding its position on bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).
Dhaka needs bilateral FTAs to get maximum from Safta says commerce minister
Bangladesh needs bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with major south Asian nations to get maximum trade benefits from South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta), Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury said yesterday.