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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


BD for economic partnership deal with Japan
Bangladesh on Saturday expressed its keen interest in concluding an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan.
Govt looks to sign FTAs with rich nations
The government plans to sign free trade agreements (FTAs) with developed countries to boost exports following similar moves by India, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said yesterday.
Writ challenging legality of TICFA filed
A writ petition was filed with the High Court in Dhaka Wednesday challenging the legality of the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA), signed recently between Bangladesh and the USA.
TICFA, political economy of US bilateralism and Bangladesh
It should come as no surprise that TICFA is not really an economic cooperation or development agreement, writes Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan in Countercurrents.
Ticfa with US signed at last
The government of Bangladesh, after more than a decade of talks, yesterday inked the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) with the US
Dhaka keen to join a free-trade move
The government of Bangladesh has already taken up its desire to join the Trans Pacific Partnership talks through its embassy in Washington
US cut of trade privilege angers Bangladesh
Bangladesh has criticised the decision by the United States to cut trade privileges in the wake of a deadly garment factory collapse, insisting it had taken concrete action to improve safety.
US suspends trade benefits for Bangladesh over safety
President Barack Obama cut off long-time US trade benefits for Bangladesh on Thursday in a mostly symbolic response to conditions in the country’s garment industry that have cost more than 1,200 lives in the past year.
TICFA at long last
With the Cabinet’s nod to give it a go ahead, the proposed Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) between Bangladesh and the USA is almost through, awaiting to be signed at a convenient time by the two governments.
Bangladesh keen to sign a “Free Trade Agreement” with Sri Lanka
Bangladesh says it is ready to start discussions with Sri Lanka to strike a Free Trade Agreement between the two nations to improve two way trade, announced the Island’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce.