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Tipu: Bangladesh working for sustainable trade facilities through FTAs

  • Published at 08:17 pm May 26th, 2021
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi
File photo of Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The government will continue the practice of an open economy to encourage and facilitate businesses, the minister says

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Wednesday said Bangladesh is working to create sustainable trade facilities by signing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with different friendly countries.

“Bangladesh has been a major beneficiary of an open market economy and globalization; naturally, the government will continue the practice of an open economy to encourage and facilitate businesses,” he said.

The minister said this as the chief guest in a virtual discussion meeting on “Bangladesh-Malaysia FTA: Challenges and Opportunities for Business Community,” organized by the Bangladesh Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI).

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High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Malaysia Md Golam Sarwar and Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Haznah Md Hashim took part in the webinar as guests of honour, said a press release.

The session was chaired and moderated by BMCCI President Raquib Mohammad Fakhrul.

In his speech, Tipu said the Ministry of Commerce will strive to work hard in making Bangladesh the preferred investment destination and among the most globally competitive trading nations in the world.

FTAs help enhance competitive advantage, increase market access for goods and services, strengthen investors’ confidence and to a large extent, build Bangladesh’s economic sustainability, he mentioned.

Raquib Mohammad Fakhrul said that Bangladesh’s future trade benefits will largely depend on bilateral free trade agreements as the country will lose duty-free facilities and a host of trade preferences after graduating into a middle-income nation from a least developed country (LDC) in 2024.

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Highlighting the first bilateral trade agreement of Bangladesh, the newly signed PTA with Bhutan in December 2020, Raquib mentioned that Bangladesh has no FTA officially signed with any country yet.

Deals like FTAs and PTAs will help Bangladesh continue getting the duty benefits after its graduation, he added.

Among others, Member of Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) Dr Mostafa Abid Khan and Immediate Past President of BMCCI and Director of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Syed Moazzam Hossain, spoke on the occasion.