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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


Russia, Bangladesh express willingness to sign Free Trade Agreement
Dhaka and Moscow on Tuesday expressed their willingness to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to further bolster bilateral trade during a meeting between Russian envoy and Bangladesh’s foreign minister
Tifa yet not on table: Boucher
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A Boucher today said till now Dhaka and Washington did not have an active negotiation on Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa).
No ’secret deals’ being made: Faruq
The Bangladesh government will not sign any "secret deal" with any country without a transparent decision from parliament, commerce minister Faruq Khan said on Wednesday. "The ongoing discussions on a possible TIFA with the USA and a likely transit accord with India will be tabled in parliament and drafts will be prepared with the help of highest-level experts."
Bangladesh to resume TIFA negotiation talks with US
Bangladesh will resume the pending talks with the United States on reaching a deal—Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA)—as new governments in both the countries have assumed offices.
Bangladesh to resume TIFA negotiation with US
Bangladesh will resume the pending talks with the United States on striking a deal —Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) — as new governments in both the countries have assumed office.
WB opposes signing bilateral FTA’s: Dhaka fails to narrow trade gap with SAARC states
Opposition from World Bank keeps Bangladesh away from signing bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with SAARC member countries, a top official of the Commerce Ministry said yesterday.
Bangladesh-Bhutan trade accord in Nov
Bangladesh and Bhutan are going to sign a free trade agreement in November with a view to boosting trade between the two countries, informed sources said.
US scraps TIFA draft, sends new proposal
The US authorities have scrapped the draft of the trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA) that took shape in lengthy negotiations in a span of two years between Dhaka and Washington. Instead, the US Trade Representative’s office has recently sent a reworded draft to Bangladesh’s commerce ministry for consideration, which indicates that Washington has not lost its interest in concluding the agreement.
Dhaka mulls free trade pacts with India, Pak, Sri Lanka
Bangladesh has decided to sign bilateral free trade agreements (FTA) with three major South Asian trading partners - India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - in view of the failure of multilateral trading arrangements to serve the country’s interests.
Decision on FTA with India, Pakistan, Lanka likely today
The government will finally take a decision in a meeting today on signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with its neighbouring trading partners India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.