Government adopts policy on free and preferential trade agreements

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Minister of Finance AHM Mustafa Kamal said the government has adopted a policy for the execution of bilateral agreements on free and preferential trade with different countries.

Unveiling the 2021-2022 fiscal budget to parliament on Thursday, the minister said bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) and preferential trade agreements (PTAs) were either signed or finalized to address the challenges of global trade after the transition of the country from LDC status.

“Under the agreement, 34 Bhutanese products will benefit from duty-free access to the Bangladeshi market and 100 Bangladeshi products to the Bhutanese market,” he added.

The finance minister said the PTA negotiations with Nepal were in the final stages.

Significant progress has also been made in official talks to sign a bilateral partnership agreement with Indonesia. Work on a joint study to conclude a free trade agreement with Sri Lanka is in its final stages.

In addition, he said, feasibility studies have been carried out to assess the trade potentials for signing an FTA / PTA with different countries, such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and Japan. Eurasian Economic Commission.

The possibility for Bangladesh to sign trade agreements with China, Myanmar, Nigeria, Mali, Macedonia, Mauritius, Jordan, the United States, Iraq and Lebanon is under consideration .

He said an initiative had been taken to conduct a joint feasibility study on the draft Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Bangladesh and India.

To reduce the trade deficit, measures are taken to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers by concluding bilateral trade agreements. Such agreements have already been signed with 44 countries, he added.

He said the government has continued to provide export incentives for 36 products to increase the competitiveness of exports, as was done in the previous fiscal year.

The government has identified 17 products to boost exports in the aftermath of the pandemic, which is expected to play an important role in sustaining export growth after Bangladesh’s transition from least developed countries in 2026, Mustafa Kamal said, UNB reports .



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