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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


Bangladesh to gain little from FTA with India: WB report
A "captive protected" market to Indian suppliers, trade losses for Bangladesh and the issue of farm subsidies cosseted to Indian rice, wheat and sugar producers are among the potential risks.
Study suggests Bangladesh to ink FTAs with India, Pakistan
A new study says Bangladesh should sign Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with India and Pakistan, but fails to identify what the FTAs would have in addition to South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA).
Uncertainty looms over Bangla-Pak FTA talks
Although Bangladesh and Pakistan have agreed to sign a free trade area deal by September this year, the two countries are yet to start negotiations.
Indian businesses seek FTA with Bangladesh
A business delegation of India yesterday underscored the need for inking a free trade agreement (FTA) between Bangladesh and India to boost trade between the two countries.
Bangladesh, Pakistan to discuss FTA issues
The first meeting of the Bangladesh-Pakistan Joint Business Council expected to kick-off in Dhaka next week would give priority to issues relating to signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, sources said.
Dhaka to sign preferential trade accord with Tehran
Bangladesh is going to sign a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Iran may lead to signing of Free Trade Agreement between the two Muslim nations.
Dhaka-Ankara bilateral ties
The Prime Minister of Turkey not only hosted the Bangladesh leader but also highlighted the need for augmenting bilateral relations in different fields, including trade and investment.
Pak commerce minister arrives April 19
The commerce minister of Pakistan will make a three-day visit to Dhaka from April 19 to attend the Safta Ministerial Council (SMC) meeting and initiate talks on signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Bangladesh.
Sikri pins high hope on trade boost
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Veena Sikri pinned high hope on Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s India visit beginning today in boosting trade between the two South Asian neighbours.
Trade issues and India
The last meeting of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Economic Commission discussed the formation of a free trade area (FTA) between the two countries. The FTA offer was made earlier by India. Bangladesh has only scrutinised different aspects of the proposal so far.