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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


Dhaka to re-assess benefits of FTA accord with Ankara
Bangladesh has decided to re-assess the necessity and possible benefits of signing a Free Trade Area accord with Turkey, official sources said.
Bangladesh, Turkey near trade deal
Turkey is offering to pursue a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bangladesh, but the two sides have not taken a potential Free Trade Agreement (FTA) off the table, officials said at a recent meeting of top economic officials here.
MoF opposes FTA deal with Malaysia
Bangladesh’s Ministry of Finance has opposed the move of striking an agreement on bilateral Free Trade Area with Malaysia fearing the proposed deal, if signed, would only increase the trade deficit for Bangladesh.
Dhaka, KL moving ahead to sign FTA deal
Dhaka is moving ahead steadily to sign an accord on a bilateral Free Trade Area (FTA) with Kuala Lumpur as the ministry of commerce (MoC) has recently sent its "well-guarded position", containing a template on the proposed FTA to the Malaysian government, a top ministry official said.
Negotiations over Dhaka-Washington TECF deal to be concluded soon
In Bangladesh, the Prime Minister’s Office has asked the ministry of commerce to expedite the process of negotiations with the United States to finalise the proposed Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum deal immediately, sources said.
Labour issue blocking TICFA deal: Faruk
Disagreement on the issue of workers’ union in EPZs is standing in the way of Bangladesh signing the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) with the US, according to the commerce minister.
Tariff Commission for FTA with KL
Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) has given a positive signal to the government in striking a bilateral Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement with Malaysia, saying, the proposed deal will boost the country’s export of goods and manpower substantially in Malaysia and encourage latter’s investment in Bangladesh significantly.
Bangladesh: Draft guideline on FTA opposes deals with developed economies
A draft guideline prepared on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has strongly suggested against striking FTAs with developed countries, but the same has encouraged similar deals with the countries having demand for Bangladeshi manpower, official sources said.
Set up D-8 FTA, remove tariff barriers: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina here today urged the Developing-8 member states to evolve their own mechanism for establishing a D-8 Free Trade Area (FTA) to increase trade and business.
Govt decides not to sign Tifa
The US administration has taken the decision of the Bangladesh government rather easily despite the fact that the two countries had been engaged in negotiations on Tifa for about six years since 2003