The Daily Star | 24 April 2018
Bangladesh plans FTA with Thailand
Bangladesh has decided to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with Thailand to boost trade with the Southeast Asian nation, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said yesterday.
He spoke at the inaugural session of a four-day fair of Thai products at Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel in the city.
The Department of International Trade Promotion under the commerce ministry and the Thai embassy in Dhaka have co-organised the event titled Thailand Week 2018.
At present, Bangladesh enjoys duty-free benefit for exporting around 7,000 products to Thai market, Ahmed said.
Bangladesh has sought the same benefit for jute and apparel items as well, he said, adding that bilateral trade now stands at around $2 billion.
Though a lot of Bangladeshis travel to Thailand for business and tourism purposes, the visa regime is complex, the minister said, urging the Thai embassy to address the issue.
This year, 45 Thai companies and 27 Bangladeshi firms that import Thai products or are agents of Thai companies have participated in the exhibition.
The products on display include auto parts, industrial equipment, hardware, fruits, food and beverage, houseware, garments, jewellery and footware.
Thai Ambassador Panpimon Suwannapongse was also present at the inaugural session.
The fair remains open from 11am to 10pm.