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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


Trade balance in favour of Pakistan: FTA talks this month
Bangladesh and Pakistan are likely to begin negotiation on bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) during a three-day visit of Pakistan Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan by the end of this month, sources said.
Dhaka-Islamabad likely to start FTA talks
Dhaka and Islamabad are likely to start negotiation on bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) soon as Pakistan Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan visits Bangladesh by the end of this month.
Formal talks on Dhaka-Islamabad FTA start soon, Says Morshed
Bangladesh and Pakistan will soon start formal negotiations on bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in a bid to sign the deal by next September, Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan said here yesterday.
Bilateral FTA to be finalised by Sept
Pakistan and Bangladesh have agreed to finalise bilateral free trade area (FTA) agreement within the shortest possible time, by September at the latest, to create scope for easy access of Bangladeshi products to Pakistani market as a measure for reducing the existing trade gap.
KCCI urges Bangladesh to sign free trade agreement
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) asked the Bangladesh to materialize the signing of agreed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) without any further loss of time.
WB study on FTA with India
India is keen on signing an FTA with Bangladesh as early as possible but Bangladesh has been rather sceptical about the outcome of such a deal because of the former’s alleged protectionist attitude. The findings of a World Bank (WB) study that were made available a couple of days back in Dhaka have, actually, confirmed Bangladesh’s worries.
FTA won’t be enough to narrow trade gap with India, say experts
A group of international experts said Saturday at a workshop that mere increase in volume of trade under the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would not be enough to reduce the huge trade imbalance between Bangladesh and India.
FTA with India won’t benefit Bangladesh
Non-tariff barrier is a major impediment to cut the trade deficit with India, economists and academics observed yesterday at a workshop.
Dhaka again rejects Delhi’s FTA proposal
Bangladesh has once again outright rejected an Indian proposal for signing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with her, urging the counterpart to sign the proposed South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) for boosting the regional trade and commerce.
Dhaka-Islamabad economic ties
Unlike some other regions of the world, trade among the South Asian countries is meagre compared to their trade outside the region.