Free Trade Agreement Bangladesh

Bangladesh has been a member of the WTO since 1995 and, as the least developed country, benefits from the EU`s “Everything but Arms” regime, which grants duty-free access to all exports except arms and ammunition. “That`s why we need a free trade agreement with this vital market,” he said during a virtual discussion on “exploring trade and ANT opportunities with the UK” organized by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI). The government plans to develop a new directive on preferential and free trade agreements to prepare for post-graduation. It called for strong trade and investment relationships with the United Kingdom to address this issue, as Bangladesh has the opportunity to export light products and other high-quality clothing to the market. Bangladesh is currently negotiating with Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka on the PTA or free trade agreements to obtain preferential or duty-free access to the market. Among these countries, Bangladesh has almost concluded trade negotiations with Bhutan. It called on the Bangladesh Trade and Customs Commission (BTTC) to update existing policy directions for the 2010 free trade agreement by integrating changing models of secular and national trade. The EU is cooperating closely with Bangladesh under the EU-Bangladesh cooperation agreement concluded in 2001. This agreement offers a wide margin of cooperation and covers trade and economic development, human rights, good governance and the environment. Subsequently, many Bangladeshi citizens are involved in important trade and political proceedings in the UK, which has made the island state a very important trading partner for Bangladesh.

In the 2018-19 financial year, Bangladesh`s exports to the United Kingdom amounted to $4.8 billion. However, the persistence of the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted trade between the two countries. Bangladesh must sign a free trade agreement with the UK if it hopes to increase bilateral trade and private investment between the two countries, according to various local businessmen. The official said that the pattern of global trade has changed over the past decade and that developed countries are focusing on new themes as they sign free trade agreements or ASPs. It is therefore time to sign a free trade agreement with the UK so that Bangladesh can take full advantage of all potential trade deals when Britain leaves the EU trading bloc at the end of the year. Vietnam, Thailand, Morocco, Malaysia, the United States, Canada, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, South Korea, India, KSA, South Africa, Mexico and Egypt, as well as three regional blocs of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Eurasian Economic Commission and MERCOSUR are the other countries or regions under review for trade negotiations. As the least developed country (LDC), Bangladesh enjoys the most favourable regime available under the EU`s Generalised Preference System (GSP), namely the “everything but arms” regime (EBA).