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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


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.
Bangladesh/Malaysia FTA sought as pharma trade soars
With Malaysia and Bangladesh both forecasting sharp increases in their pharmaceutical exports, business groups are calling for the establishment of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two nations.
Thai Exhibition 2008 begins in city: Bangkok proposes FTA with Dhaka
The four-day Thailand Exhibition 2008 began at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel yesterday with Bangkok renewing its proposal for bilateral FTA with Dhaka for boosting the two-way trade.
Bangladesh: FTA offers little benefits to weaker economies
"There is no compelling case for an FTA with India" warns Dr Hamid Rashid, director general of the Bangladesh ministry of foreign affairs
Bangladesh eyes FTA with China
Bangladesh is eying a free trade agreement (FTA) with its biggest trading partner China. As the country has achieved a little from many multilateral and regional deals, the government plans to improve its two-way trade with major trading partners, sources said.
Bangladesh: Govt to study impact of free trade deals with neighbours
The caretaker government of Bangladesh has initiated a study on the impact of striking free trade agreements (FTAs) with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Indian state minister for commerce due today
Indian State Minister for Commerce Jairam Ramesh will arrive in Dhaka today on a two-day official visit to hold talks on bilateral trade.
Bangladesh likely to sign TIFA with US: Report
Bangladesh is likely sign the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the United States, agreeing to Washington’s insistence of including "corruption" issue in the text.